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National Parks are socialist
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olePigeon
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Sep 29, 2009, 03:17 PM
 
This thread got me wondering. Socialism is the new pink, so why aren't people pissed off about our national park system?

Everybody pays for them whether you use them or not. If you don't visit national parks, least of all parks in other states, you still have to pay for them. It's socialist.

Other things that are socialist:

Paved roads
Street lamps
Street signs & traffic lights
Sidewalks
Landscape management
Public parking structures
Museums
Public transportation
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nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 03:23 PM
 
socialism |ˈsō sh əˌlizəm|
noun
a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Don't really see how parks fit into that in any way. Just because the government runs/pays for something, doesn't make it socialist.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Sep 29, 2009, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Don't really see how parks fit into that in any way. Just because the government runs/pays for something, doesn't make it socialist.
National Parks contain vast amounts of resources. To protect those resources from being exploited, the government controls those resources. The people pay the government to not profit off the resources, securing their inherent perceived value (either economically, emotionally, or both) which in turn is shared with the people.
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nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 04:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
National Parks contain vast amounts of resources. To protect those resources from being exploited, the government controls those resources. The people pay the government to not profit off the resources, securing their inherent perceived value (either economically, emotionally, or both) which in turn is shared with the people.
Well there's that...
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Sep 29, 2009, 04:16 PM
 
So, if socialism is horrible and evil as turtle777 likes to claim, how can National Parks be good? Shouldn't National Parks be privatized? Shouldn't we profit from those resources? Why is it OK for the government to get in the way of business? Loggers should be allowed to cut down the red woods or drain the various lakes for irrigation. That's what they were doing in the first place until the government stepped in.
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nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 04:26 PM
 
There are actually a number of private parks and reserves. In many ways they are much better at achieving their goals than public parks and reserves because they are legally limited by their founding documents, whereas the government has never shown any hesitation to simply change the laws that inconvenience its current whim.

So yes, I would support privatization of national parks, but only under certain very strict conditions.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Sep 29, 2009, 04:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
There are actually a number of private parks and reserves. In many ways they are much better at achieving their goals than public parks and reserves because they are legally limited by their founding documents, whereas the government has never shown any hesitation to simply change the laws that inconvenience its current whim.

So yes, I would support privatization of national parks, but only under certain very strict conditions.
But then you're making the government interfere with business again.
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nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
But then you're making the government interfere with business again.
How so? The government isn't interfering with business when setting conditions on privatization schemes, it's interacting with business. It would be insanity to simply say 'we're selling off this government department, whoever offers the most money can have it with no restrictions'. That's not freedom from government interference, it's freedom from intelligent thought.

Any change in the system requires transition. You can't go straight from the status quo to the ideal.
     
andi*pandi
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Sep 29, 2009, 05:35 PM
 
There are folks like The Trustees of Reservations: Protecting Landscapes and Landmarks across Massachusetts, which try to preserve wildlife and historical places, and make money off admissions, donations, and wedding rentals of the finer older homes. However, can we trust private industry with the likes of the Grand Canyon? They'd have an escalator down to the bottom in two seconds. They already pollute the river and sky with riverboats trips and helicopters.
     
nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 05:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
There are folks like The Trustees of Reservations: Protecting Landscapes and Landmarks across Massachusetts, which try to preserve wildlife and historical places, and make money off admissions, donations, and wedding rentals of the finer older homes. However, can we trust private industry with the likes of the Grand Canyon? They'd have an escalator down to the bottom in two seconds. They already pollute the river and sky with riverboats trips and helicopters.
Why would private industry be more likely to build an escalator down the Grand Canyon than the National Park Service (not positive that's who's in charge, but it's not really important)? Would building such an escalator increase or decrease attendance/revenue? Clearly there are a lot of people who would consider such a thing to be ruinous, so who's to say it wouldn't be harmful to the bottom line to do so? No corporation is going to do such a thing without, at the very least, investing quite a lot of money into market research. I suspect the cost of building and maintaining such a monstrosity would be prohibitive as well.

And, as I said, I would only support privatization of parks with certain preconditions. I don't have a specific list or anything, but you can be sure that installing a gigantic escalator would violate at least one of those conditions.

Just because something is private in nature doesn't mean it's automatically going to destroy everything in a mindless pursuit of profits. For one, a mindless pursuit is not going to yield much profit. For another, perhaps it's a not-for-profit organization (something which I think many sectors, most relevantly including health care/insurance, could benefit from).
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Sep 29, 2009, 06:19 PM
 
Edit: Nevermind.
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ironknee
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Sep 29, 2009, 06:46 PM
 
police and fire department
     
el chupacabra
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Sep 29, 2009, 08:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
There are actually a number of private parks and reserves. In many ways they are much better at achieving their goals than public parks and reserves because they are legally limited by their founding documents, whereas the government has never shown any hesitation to simply change the laws that inconvenience its current whim.

So yes, I would support privatization of national parks, but only under certain very strict conditions.
I used to own an island which had a number of rare bird species on it. So I made it a sanctuary. But then some good hearted, free spirited, free thinking, peace loving liberals decided to grow weed on it, and it got burned down. So as long as liberals are declaring war on the environment there is no chance for this idea to succeed.

Come to think of it I dont remember ever selling it. Maybe I stil own this once beautiful island in a stack of paperwork somewhere but I haven't been back since.

     
turtle777
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Sep 29, 2009, 08:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
So, if socialism is horrible and evil as turtle777 likes to claim, how can National Parks be good?
Wow, just wow.

I really don't know where to start.

-t
     
nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 09:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
I used to own an island which had a number of rare bird species on it. So I made it a sanctuary. But then some good hearted, free spirited, free thinking, peace loving liberals decided to grow weed on it, and it got burned down. So as long as liberals are declaring war on the environment there is no chance for this idea to succeed.

Come to think of it I dont remember ever selling it. Maybe I stil own this once beautiful island in a stack of paperwork somewhere but I haven't been back since.

So the government kills a bunch of birds because of their own moronic policies, and somehow that's the fault of private enterprise?
     
nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 09:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ironknee View Post
police and fire department
Are like parks and nature reserves how, exactly?
     
Wiskedjak
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Sep 29, 2009, 09:18 PM
 
If you wanna talk about socialist programs that you'll never hear a conservative complain about, just look at the military. Most massive social program in the history of social program.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Sep 29, 2009, 09:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Wow, just wow.

I really don't know where to start.
Give it a try.
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olePigeon  (op)
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Sep 29, 2009, 09:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
But then some good hearted, free spirited, free thinking, peace loving liberals decided to grow weed on it, and it got burned down.
Yes, only liberals grow and smoke weed.
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el chupacabra
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Sep 29, 2009, 09:37 PM
 
Private industry could take care of these by:

Paved roads - associations & toll companies, since we're often taxed for roads that the gov sells to companies anyway.
Street lamps - associations and tolls; like condo buildings and cable companies.
Street signs & traffic lights - same thing....government has failed.
Sidewalks - Gov failed at this one anyway, most sidewalks are privately owned.
Landscape management - Don't need it.

Public parking structures - government provides parking? I thought their usual solution was for everyone to just park on the side of street and then charge by the hour.
.
Museums - no opinion. this doesnt cost much.
Public transportation - again, dont need it.




edit for the record Im watching the series right now.
and it seems private business had a huge role in getting the national park system where it is today. without it there would be none.
( Last edited by el chupacabra; Sep 29, 2009 at 09:45 PM. )
     
ironknee
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Sep 29, 2009, 09:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Are like parks and nature reserves how, exactly?
paid by the state
     
nonhuman
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Sep 29, 2009, 10:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by ironknee View Post
paid by the state
Yes, and that's the only similarity. If we privatize them, there would be none.
     
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Sep 30, 2009, 08:38 PM
 
You're also forgetting military and public libraries. I'm sure there's more.

There's a funny thing that most conservatives think about socialism. Nobody is trying to push pure capitalism, which is what you're trying to suggest - that the government should never have control over anything, because that's magically socialism.

There are certain things that objectively benefit the entire population as a whole. This includes infrastructure like roads, sewage systems, cross-country electrical cabling, bridges, sidewalks, and lights on the highway. It also includes services that objectively protect the population, like fire and police departments and the armed forces/military. It also includes things that, as I mentioned, objectively benefit everyone - you don't have to be poor or a minority to use a public library. In Indianapolis, the only requirement is that you be a resident of the city, because city taxes partially fund that library. Likewise, public transit may be used by anyone. Again, you do not have to be a minority, poor, or otherwise fall under some specific demographic to be permitted on public transit systems. In fact, public transit takes the concept of "objectively benefiting the population as a whole" by not only providing transit to the public, but by also aiding to minimize the impact of congested traffic on the environment and the time it takes to complete your daily commute.

The things that your average political/economic conservative is going to oppose are things that subjectively benefit only those who are qualified for the program or service. These are things like welfare, food stamps, Section 8 housing, free lunch plans at public schools, a "public health option", and other social programs. These all require you to fall under some certain categorization or demographic in order to qualify. They also require those who don't fall under those categories to fund the programs. When your tax dollars go to fund the public library or a city park or repaving a city street, you choose whether or not to benefit from that. When your tax dollars go to pay for the medical costs, housing, and/or food of someone who's too financially irresponsible and/or stupid to manage their life adequately without government support, you don't get to choose whether or not you can benefit from the program you're paying into.

You might try to make the argument that these social programs help society's degenerates, which in turn keeps you from having to deal with them directly, but we all know this is a load of steaming horse sh!t. The number of people who sit on their asses and live off government cheese while contributing nothing to society is far greater than the number of people who truly just "need a little help" to get back on their feet. Not only that, but how many violent crimes are committed by degenerates and broke-ass people living on welfare compared to how many are committed by run-of-the-mill citizens who actually contribute to society? Social programs serve to set an incredibly low standard of living for these people while simultaneously saying, "if you're okay living at this low standard, you'll never have to pay a dime for it" - as a result, those subsisting on the programs voluntarily have that very low standard of living, which bleeds over into other aspects of their lives, influencing their behavior and doing precious little to make them better people.

I'm all for my tax dollars going to programs, services, and organizations that objectively benefit everyone and don't discriminate against anyone - including white-collar white males, without whom America would be as unstable and poor as a third-world country. I'm not for my tax dollars going to support people who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it, particularly since I as a taxpayer have no real control over who gets that money.
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ironknee
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Sep 30, 2009, 09:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Yes, and that's the only similarity. If we privatize them, there would be none.
not sure what you're talking about... of course that's the only similarity... i wasn't comparing a firefighter and a forest...

privatize who? the cops and firefighters? i didn't say that

my only point is we are not living in a 100% non-scocialist society
     
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Oct 1, 2009, 07:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
This thread got me wondering. Socialism is the new pink, so why aren't people pissed off about our national park system?

Everybody pays for them whether you use them or not. If you don't visit national parks, least of all parks in other states, you still have to pay for them. It's socialist.

Other things that are socialist:

Paved roads
Street lamps
Street signs & traffic lights
Sidewalks
Landscape management
Public parking structures
Museums
Public transportation
Are the Armed Forces socialist? Schools? Do you use everything that your Government pays for?
     
Wiskedjak
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Oct 1, 2009, 08:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Are the Armed Forces socialist? Schools? Do you use everything that your Government pays for?
Any *government* who's mandate is to represent "the people" is socialist. Everything your government does is socialist.
     
nonhuman
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Oct 1, 2009, 08:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I'm all for my tax dollars going to programs, services, and organizations that objectively benefit everyone and don't discriminate against anyone - including white-collar white males, without whom America would be as unstable and poor as a third-world country. I'm not for my tax dollars going to support people who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it, particularly since I as a taxpayer have no real control over who gets that money.
Um, did you just argue in favor of pure socialism without even a shadow of private ownership? Because that would totally fit with the standards you just put forth (benefits everyone without precondition).
     
nonhuman
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Oct 1, 2009, 08:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Any *government* who's mandate is to represent "the people" is socialist. Everything your government does is socialist.
No, that's completely untrue. 'Represent' has no bearing on ownership of resources, which is what socialism is about. Just because the government does things does not make it socialist.
     
nonhuman
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Oct 1, 2009, 08:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by ironknee View Post
not sure what you're talking about... of course that's the only similarity... i wasn't comparing a firefighter and a forest...

privatize who? the cops and firefighters? i didn't say that

my only point is we are not living in a 100% non-scocialist society
Was anyone arguing that we are?
     
Wiskedjak
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Oct 1, 2009, 09:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
No, that's completely untrue. 'Represent' has no bearing on ownership of resources, which is what socialism is about. Just because the government does things does not make it socialist.
If the government does those things in the collective interest of the people it represents, that's socialism. Especially if it does those things using money acquired through taxation of the people it represents.
     
nonhuman
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Oct 1, 2009, 09:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
If the government does those things in the collective interest of the people it represents, that's socialism. Especially if it does those things using money acquired through taxation of the people it represents.
No. Socialism has a very specific meaning, and that's not it. I already posted the dictionary definition, but Socialism means, essentially, government control of the means of production. A vague 'doing things', regardless of whose interest those things are in, does not a Socialist government make.
     
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Oct 1, 2009, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
If the government does those things in the collective interest of the people it represents, that's socialism. Especially if it does those things using money acquired through taxation of the people it represents.
That means that any elected, paid 'government' is socialist. They manage revenue, they give themselves pay rises, they voted for themselves (presumably) therefore they are socialist?
     
Wiskedjak
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Oct 1, 2009, 09:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
That means that any elected, paid 'government' is socialist.
Yep. Anything that acts in the collective interest of a group of people is, essentially, socialist.
     
Wiskedjak
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Oct 1, 2009, 09:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
No. Socialism has a very specific meaning, and that's not it. I already posted the dictionary definition, but Socialism means, essentially, government control of the means of production.
Oh, then social programs like welfare and collective health care aren't socialist. Cool. Glad we've cleared that up.
( Last edited by Wiskedjak; Oct 1, 2009 at 09:57 PM. )
     
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Oct 1, 2009, 09:37 PM
 
Electric street lamps turn off when they overheat at night so that is saving the city some money.
Street signs (especially Yield and Stop) are there to prevent accidents. Traffic lights are there to restore order to a four way stop session or define the difference between running the red or breezing by a yellow. In contrast, the speed limit signs and painted roadway markings are there to hinder drivers.
Public Transportation is bad for the respiratory system but large buses have been known to stop people in their attempt at grand theft auto. Almost as expedient as the cops are at giving us speeding tickets at 5 mph over the limit.
Sidewalks are not for Segway transporters. Too bad.
Parking structures have terrible designs for the large cars and trucks we buy knowing full well we get poor MPG with those vehicles but I guess that was what Cars for Clunkers was supposed to fix. Anyone for a Metro or Geo?

Actually most museums are not paid for by the general public. Admission is only charged for special events and the rest of the time (depending on what type of museum it is) you can get in for free.

We have a lot of illegal immigrants and none of them are doing landscape management for our busy cities. For example, San Antonio looks like it hasn't been touched for a decade with all of that overgrown grass. The real money is in construction I guess.

What about city parks? What about the tennis court outside my apartment I rarely use? What about national parks that we don't get to visit because we cannot afford to take a vacation?
For this answer I simply reply: tough ****.
     
mattyb
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Oct 2, 2009, 08:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Yep. Anything that acts in the collective interest of a group of people is, essentially, socialist.
Wrong. The payment of large bonuses to a group of people calling themselves bankers is not socialist. Neither was allowing people with very bad credit to take out large unsecured loans.

Your definition of socialist is flawed.
     
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Oct 2, 2009, 08:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Wrong. The payment of large bonuses to a group of people calling themselves bankers is not socialist. Neither was allowing people with very bad credit to take out large unsecured loans.

Your definition of socialist is flawed.
Agreed. But then welfare and collective health care aren't socialist either.
     
nonhuman
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Oct 2, 2009, 09:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Oh, then social programs like welfare and collective health care aren't socialist. Cool. Glad we've cleared that up.
No, they are, because they conform to the definition of socialism which I've already posted. I'll post it again, just to be safe:

Originally Posted by Dictionary
socialism |ˈsō sh əˌlizəm|
noun
a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Welfare and government run healthcare programs are absolutely instances of socialism. They are both all about community/government controlled distribution and exchange.
     
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Oct 2, 2009, 08:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Welfare and government run healthcare programs are absolutely instances of socialism. They are both all about community/government controlled distribution and exchange.
Then, government funded military is socialist. And then, really, so is any other form government spending tax dollars in the interest of tax payers.
( Last edited by Wiskedjak; Oct 2, 2009 at 08:29 PM. )
     
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Oct 2, 2009, 08:14 PM
 
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
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Oct 2, 2009, 08:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Then, government funded military is socialist. And then, really, so is any other form government spending tax dollars in the interest of tax payers.
No ****. If we weren't at war for most of the years of US history, our GDP wouldn't be anywhere near what it is today. We spend a metric ton on the military. Look it up, we're at war all the damn time. It's like crack for the economy.
     
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Oct 2, 2009, 08:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by wallinbl View Post
No ****. If we weren't at war for most of the years of US history, our GDP wouldn't be anywhere near what it is today. We spend a metric ton on the military. Look it up, we're at war all the damn time. It's like crack for the economy.
So if you're right, we should attack Iran. That would be a stimulus I could support

-t
     
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Oct 2, 2009, 11:28 PM
 
iran is fhcking with us because we took out iraq.
     
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Oct 3, 2009, 09:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by ironknee View Post
iran is fhcking with us because we took out iraq.
What ?

-t
     
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Oct 3, 2009, 11:09 AM
 
Paved roads; only where there is a free-market benefit for government revenue generation. The "socialist" government will not pave a road for "people" alone. I'm in the Midwest, believe me not all roads are paved. It will only pave a road where this enough commercial (private industry) benefit to the government entity for doing so in the interest of generating revenue. It is also a conflict of interest in that you will frequently see pylons and sawhorses with issued double-fines for speeding when there is no work being done and no workers for miles on end. They use shoddy material and often shoddy craftsmanship that has our roads in general disrepair most of the time; potholes big enough to swallow your smart car. This does not even take into account the overall disrepair of our nation's bridges. What to do, vote the mayor out? It'd be nice to try a different company, but...

Street lamps; again, only where there is a commercial benefit to the state. There are many areas with people living in them and no street lamps. You have no choice in their color, appearance, or placement. They suck.

Street signs & traffic lights; See above. It's not a concern for people, it is a concern for regulating traffic within more congested, commercial areas. It is to bolster revenue generation.

Sidewalks; See above. Also, as someone else mentioned, these are often installed by private contractors based on the needs of the area.

Landscape management; huh?!?

Public parking structures; as el chupacabra mentioned, they charge you for parking on the side of the street. This isn't a structure, this is revenue generation on the backs of private industry. I don't need these "structures" (i.e. meters) and I do not benefit from them.

Museums; most places do not have museums. This is not for the benefit of people, this is for the benefit of revenue generation in areas with more congested commercialization.

Public transportation; see above.

None of these are "socialist" as much as the government simply trying to get in on the revenue generated by private industry evidenced by the fact that this "socialism" only exists in areas that benefit the government entity, regardless of the people or the "community". If these are examples of the merits of "socialism", every program above leaves a great many folks without the services that all are paying for. i.e. if the above are not false analogies, they are an example of "socialist" neglect.

Police; There is no profit in catching and imprisoning criminals and this is likely the closest example of socialism. Interestingly, police presence is not an "entitlement" program you'd want to use. Few are leaving their homes open hoping to get robbed so they can "busy up" a police officer, but many would jump at free food, free healthcare, or checks in the mail for not working. More police = less crime = less need for cops. Entitlements = more entitlements = more people getting into the entitlements ignoring the alternatives = more entitlements.

These types of arguments are crafted to address those who oppose entitlement programs. If we'd like to equate the above with Socialism because of your desire that all should have healthcare for example, why do we not expect the police to stop all rapes, and all crime? Why don't we expect the fire departments to stop all fires? Why aren't roads built everywhere, for everyone? Why isn't there public transportation available for all, everywhere?

Because it's impossible. The entire argument relies on a false analogy and only bolsters the arguments of those opposed to entitlements by illustrating their inherent limitations.
ebuddy
     
Wiskedjak
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Oct 3, 2009, 11:21 AM
 
I don't think there needs to be a commercial benefit to the state for something to be socialist. Police and military offer collective security to citizens. Public transportation offers inexpensive transportation to citizens.

Where is the commercial benefit in welfare and public health care to the state?
     
ebuddy
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Oct 3, 2009, 11:22 AM
 
Another argument; government-run military is socialist. It should be addressing all conflicts, everywhere, for all! We have more and as such can provide more. Often cited with this argument is the disconnect from their prior arguments about how our military interferes with too much, causes more problems, and stands accused of waste, fraud, and abuse of its powers.

Now... let's give 'em our auto industry, banking, and our healthcare.
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Wiskedjak
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Oct 3, 2009, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Another argument; government-run military is socialist. It should be addressing all conflicts, everywhere, for all!
Why does government-run military need address all conflicts everywhere to be socialist? If so, than is public health care also not socialist unless it provides health care to the entire world?

Government run military provides collective security to those citizens/tax payers who would not otherwise be able to afford such security on the private market. How is that *not* socialist?
     
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Oct 3, 2009, 11:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
I don't think there needs to be a commercial benefit to the state for something to be socialist.
That's why I'm saying the analogies presented by others in this thread are false.

Where is the commercial benefit in welfare and public health care to the state?
There is no commercial benefit to the State with regard to welfare, that's why I generally oppose it. It is an entitlement. It actually accomplishes very little by way of progress for anyone and only grows in scope and need with every generation served. People are calling it socialist because it takes the lions-share of its resource from a specific demographic and gives that resource to another specific demographic.
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Oct 3, 2009, 11:31 AM
 
I'd say something, service or product, is socialist if the government is using tax-dollars to provide that something to citizens when it could otherwise be purchase on the private market.

Note: I'm not necessarily arguing *for* socialist programmes. I'm only trying to point out things that I think are socialist that conservatives are generally accepting of.
     
 
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