Sunday, January 25, 2009

Political Parties - Socialist

I'm going to start these weekly posts with some recaps of the week the President and/or congress had and what I think about what he did. Unless I don't find anything I worth commenting on. So this week 2 points of interest happened. Actually more, but 2 that I'm going to comment on because they will give you insight into my thinking on policy.


Let's start with Guantanamo. I think it's a terrible idea to declare an executive order to shut down a prison that is holding, or potentially holding for you skeptics, terrorist threats to our country and the world without knowing what kind of people you are working with and having a plan of action for what you will do with them. I don't think it's good for them to be placed in general population prisons inside our borders, nor do I think releasing them to return to their terroristic ways is a good idea. So what is your plan President Obama? What I will say, is at least he gave it a year to change his mind.

Next issue is the executive order for federal funding of abortions domestically and abroad. What??? I don't care if you are pro-choice or pro-life, abortion is a very private choice and should be funded privately. And if we are going to assist foreign countries with anything, shouldn't it be on things that are more pressing such as hunger and disease? I'm much less offended at my tax dollars going for these issues than abortion. I actually heard a celebrity say that this was her most important issue that she hoped to see the president act on quickly. Really??? You care more about paying for the abortions of non-U.S. citizens than you do about getting them the basics they need to survive? I'm sorry but that is shameful. She should donate her own personal money to this cause if she feels that strongly about it, rather than hope, wish, and pray that the U.S. government spend tax dollars on it, when our economy is recessing. Just my opinion. And I would never spend public dollars on private decisions. I would encourage the private charity of citizens to the causes they feel strongly about.


Incidentally I emailed the White House on this topic (my key-board has large keys for my large paws...How do you think I write this blog?), and you are now limited to 500 characters. That's about enough for 2 short paragraphs or one medium one. You must choose your words wisely.



Now onto the Socialist party platform.

Labor

1. We support the right of any number of interested workers in a workplace to form a union with no limits on the subjects upon which employees and unions may bargain with employers.

....there are several other union related statements. See the website for the details.

Sure I support the right of the worker to unionize, but I also support the right of employers not to negotiate with unions if they choose not to. I support the right of the worker to find work wherever their skills are useful to the employer regardless of unionization.


9. We call for the same benefits for part-time workers as for full-time workers.

NO! This cannot be mandated. If a company wants to make this choice on their own, there's nothing wrong with that. But this adds expense to companies that make it difficult for them to compete in the free market or end up hurting the American consumer as the price of goods and services will rise to account for this added expense.


11. We support the creation of a fund for workers which would pay a worker’s full wages and health insurance as well as necessary educational and/or retraining costs if that worker loses a job due to environmental transition, down-sizing, corporate dismantlement, or capital flight.

It sounds ideal, but No. For further explanation, see the previous answer.

12. We call for a 30 hour work week at no loss of pay, with six weeks annual paid vacation.

What are we? Europe? No. No worker is worth 6 weeks of vacation after 1 day of work. The way companies choose to handle their vacation policies is fine now. Do you just expect them to close down for 6 weeks at a time? How are they supposed to pay for that vacation if their is zero productivity? And 30 hours full time? Again leave it up to the companies but 40 hours isn't asking too much.

13. We call for unions to stop using union funds for electing candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties.

Yes, I would agree with this as long as that extends to all political parties.



Economics

2. We call for worker and community ownership and control of corporations within the framework of a decentralized and democratically determined economic plan.
5. We call for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically-controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks. In the meantime, we call for re-regulation of the banking and insurance industries.
No. I believe in free market Capitalism. If you want ownership, buy stock.


3. We call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, indexed to the cost of living.

The cost of living goes up as the minimum wage goes up, so raising the minimum wage will be a never ending process. I oppose this. Besides most of the people actually making minimum wage are in high school. If you can't improve your skills to make more than minimum wage, then you aren't worth more than minimum wage and you certainly aren't worth a $15 an hour minimum wage.


4. We call for a full employment policy. We support the provision of a livable guaranteed annual income.

Sounds ideal but is impossible. I refuse to fund those that refuse to work, Austin is a good example of this. Just about every intersection has someone standing on a corner holding a sign asking for money. When the McDonald's in front of them has a "hiring" sign in the window. Nor do I think companies should have to continue to pay employees that aren't productive.


6. We call for a steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax, and a maximum income of no more than ten times the minimum. We oppose regressive taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and property taxes.
7. We call for the restoration of the capital gains tax and luxury tax on a progressive, graduated scale.

If you think this one is a good idea, reread it. That means the most any one person can make is $150/hr. Calculate that out to the 30 hr work week and it is $234,000/year. That doesn't sound bad if you make less than that but with that steeply graduated income tax that will put those income earners closer in line with the minimum wage earners in take home pay. When you limit income, you limit tax revenue. What good will highly graduated capital gains and luxury taxes do after that highly graduated income tax on a maximum income greatly reduces the income of that family to no longer be able to afford to invest or buy luxuries? Also where's the incentive for investing if the government is going to take most of it.

I support the Fair Tax, and unrestricted income.



11. We call for a National Pension Authority to hold the assets of private pension funds, and a levy against corporate assets for any pension fund deficits.
I'm opposed to the nationalization of anything private. Give me an example of something private that should be nationalized and good reasons for it, and I'll consider changing my mind. But very few things if any should be nationalized.


12. We call for increased and expanded welfare assistance and increased and expanded unemployment compensation at 100% of a worker's previous income or the minimum wage, whichever is higher, for the full period of unemployment or re-training, whichever is longer.
I call for an end to preposterous statements (just kidding I value free speech). Let's be honest here, I'm going to get fired from my job and remain "unemployed" for the rest of my life if you put no limits on unemployment. This isn't practical and doesn't encourage the reemployment of anyone.


15. We call for the elimination of subsidies and tax breaks that benefit corporations and all other forms of corporate welfare.
I'll agree with this since I support the Fair Tax.


Human Rights
Arts and Culture

The Socialist Party believes that art is an integral part of daily life, and should not be treated as a commodity produced by the activity of an elite group. All members of society should have ample opportunities for participation in art and cultural activities.

1. We support the formation of collectives, arts centers and schools, independent media, theaters and festivals to advance such cultural endeavors as music, poetry, prose, drama, dance, storytelling, visual art, and videography.
I support various art forms in public schools. On larger level I oppose federal funding of these centers, festivals, etc., but encourage the private funding (private donations) to make these things happen as they do now.


2. We support guaranteed incomes and grants for artists and performers.
Absolutely not. Otherwise we'll have a country full of unemployed artists based on unemployment benefits at 100% of their income.



4. We call for full funding of community and school arts programs for people of all ages.
No, outside of regular schooling, this is a private activity and I oppose the public funding of private activities.





Education

The Socialist Party recognizes the right of students of all ages to a free, quality education in a safe and supportive environment, and of all school employees to good wages, benefits, and working conditions.

1. We call for full and equal funding of public education; for the restoration of a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, including art, music, world languages, and physical education; for an end to all public funding of private schools; and for free tuition and full-time teachers with full benefits (not "adjuncts") at the post-secondary level.
Let's remember, nothing is free.


2. We support public child care starting from infancy, and public education starting at age three, with caregivers and teachers of young children receiving training, wages, and benefits comparable to that of teachers at every other level of the educational system.
Absolutely not. This discourages personal responsibility and once again having a child is a private choice. Just as putting them in daycare is a private choice that should not be paid for with public funds.


3. We oppose merit pay for teachers, standardized testing, competition between schools within the same district, the sale of on-campus advertising in order to raise funds, and the increasing dependence of post-secondary institutions on corporate funding.
This is ridiculous. I support competition between teachers and schools. Pay the good teachers more. I also support the money following the child not the child following the money. This means parents can choose what school to send their kids to, public, private or otherwise. This encourages competition.



Health Care

The Socialist Party stands for a socialized health care system based on universal coverage, salaried doctors and health care workers, and revenues derived from a steeply graduated income tax.
With their ideas on taxes and income, funding coverage and doctors will be virtually impossible. They will have to limit who goes to the doctor and what kinds of conditions deserve treatment. And if you're over the age of oh 45 or 50, forget it.


3. We call for full funding for AIDS research, prevention, and treatment. We demand full civil rights for people living with AIDS.
Why are people so focused on AIDS when Cancer is a much larger problem that isn't always based on poor behavior. I oppose the public funding of anymore AIDS research as it is now a disease you can live with for a very long time. But I encourage the private research. Same with Cancer. Private funding of research. You should all donate to St. Jude's, or some other research cause. This also goes for stem cell research. Private funding.


Housing

The Socialist Party recognizes the right of all people to high quality, low cost housing.
I recognize the right to find a place you can afford within your means. But I oppose any increase in section 8 funding. In fact I tend to think it ought to be eliminated.

5. We call for an end to home foreclosures
I call for an end to people taking out and getting loans that they can't afford. No they should not be able to keep them if they can't afford them.


Immigration

The Socialist Party works to build a world in which everyone will be able to freely move across borders, to visit and to live wherever they choose.

We recognize the central role global capitalism plays in forcing the immigration of people from the less developed to the more industrialized countries, often leading to further economic and social injustice.

1. We support secular democratic states, assuring equal rights to every citizen and resident in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. We oppose the militarization of the United States/Mexican border, and an increase in the service budget instead of the "military" budget of the INS.
3. We defend the rights of all immigrants to education, health care, and full civil and legal rights and call for an unconditional amnesty program for all undocumented people. We oppose the imposition of any fees on those receiving amnesty.
4. We call for an end to the use of "secret evidence" in deportation hearings, a ban on all immigration detentions and military tribunals, and full due process and habeus corpus rights in U.S. courts for all non-citizens on U.S. territory or in U.S. custody.
5. We demand an end to police raids in areas where immigrants congregate.
6. We oppose "guest worker" programs. We call for full citizenship rights upon demonstrating residency for six months.
I oppose this. In an perfect world this would be fine but this isn't a perfect world and we will loose our identity as the United States and are already in danger of this now. For more information on this, read "State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America" by Patrick J. Buchanan.



Media and Intellectual Property

An ever-smaller band of huge corporations controls virtually all news and entertainment media. The Socialist Party stands for the right of ordinary people to express opinions and communicate freely by vastly extending the public sector of all forms of mass media. Ultimately, a genuine democratization of the mass media will require a democratic socialist transformation of society. Within such a society, free expression will flourish, allowing for the broadest expression of viewpoints and perspectives.

1. We support the breakup of large media companies so that no one company or individual owns more than one newspaper, radio or television station, or television channel. We call for the re-regulation of the communications industry (in particular, the assertion of public ownership rights over radio and television frequencies).
2. We call for government ownership of satellite and cable companies with revenues generated by these operations allocated to a publicly controlled fund to finance innovative visual and audio programming (including movies), over the air radio and television, and cable and satellite programming. The fund would also greatly increase the money going to community cable programming.
3. We support public funding of newspapers and magazines. Any non-profit organization that publishes a journal would receive public funding in proportion to its paid subscriber list.
4. We oppose all efforts to trim "fair use" rights, such as the right to excerpt a copyrighted work in a review.
5. We call for the repeal of all existing copyright extension laws.
6. We oppose legislation to force electronics manufacturers to build "Digital Rights Management" into computers and appliances.
7. We oppose private ownership of the Internet backbone. We call for direct public ownership of at least 50% of the total bandwidth and for democratic ownership and control of the Internet domain naming system.
Here's what happens when the government owns and controls all forms of media, it feeds the public a bunch of propaganda, brainwashing them to follow/depend on the government because they will tell you only what they approve for you to know even if they make it up. And you'd have no means of verifying what they are telling you. And repealing copyright laws takes away private ownership of any publication and the government ultimately becomes the final say on what gets printed. I know this sounds extreme but learn from history. Doesn't anyone remember a man called Adolf Hitler? These policies are a slippery slope setting things up for a leader who happens to be that corrupt. I don't know that any of us believe our leaders don't all have a certain amount of corruption in them. Well except for their representative that they keep reelecting.

Civil Rights
Bill of Rights
The Socialist Party is committed to the rights of free speech, free press, free assembly, and personal privacy, and the freedom of religious choice through the separation of church and state.

1. We condemn the so-called War on Terrorism and call for the immediate repeal of the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T Acts and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
I think Terrorism is real against the US and other countries and I don't condemn the war on Terror.
2. We call for the elimination of the Dept.of Homeland Security and the sweeping police powers accorded to it.
I actually agree with this, but because it's role should be covered in the Department of Defence and is therefore a redundant function with a bloated beauracracy.
4. We call for the abolition of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I might actually support this as I believe in states rights. But I'd have to further research the role of the FBI related to the duties of state and local police agencies.

There are more issues they list on the website, and as always if you'd like to to expand on an issue, or talk about something I didn't put in this post, just ask me to in the comments and I will.

As we have found from today the socialist party is not my party. Here is what I will say about their ideas and policies. They are very utopian and might work in a world without sin and the inherent selfishness of people. But we don't live in that world. Perhaps heaven will be a bit socialistic, but without the economy issues. We will work together for the good of each other rather than worry about how much we are getting paid. But God is much bigger than the government and can provide us with all we need there. The governments only solution is to take from its personally responsible citizens to share with those who don't put in their fair share. So socialism in this world is not the ideal. Look at the declining population in much of Europe. You can't support socialism/social programs with a declining population. Our social programs are in danger of collapsing and we still have positive population growth. Think what happens if we extend our social programs to every single person. These will not be the policies of my presidency.

4 comments:

jan said...

I don't think Guantanamo will be closed. I think he is grandstanding for an element that elected him and the year will go on and on and on.

Socialism is something I might have believed in when I was ten years old. It's hard for me to understand why any thinking adult would be drawn to it.

The Singlutionary said...

You are a very interesting dog, Lola. I am glad that there are other dog's out there thinking about these important issues.

I do have to say though that I like it when my owner is home. I feel sorry for the dog who's owners work 40 hours a week. Maybe all dog owners would have to only work 30 hours a week so they could spend the other 10 petting us dogs. What do you think of that?

Lola said...

Well I think that business ought to move in the direction of allowing employees to work from home. Take my mom for example. She works for the government and contends she'd get more done at home because people wouldn't be sitting in her cube yappin their flaps about nonsense for hours at a time. I'd rather she get paid for a 40 hour week rather than a 30 hr week.

@ Jan I agree I don't understand how any thinking adult could think socialism is a good idea. Especially when there are other countries that have large elements are are almost completely under such a system. My suggestion is they go and live in one for a year and make an effort to learn just how much money an average person takes home and what kind of a place they can afford to live, then come back here and compare what someone in the midwest making the same wages can afford. People think Europe is the ideal without bothering to live there first under their own means (being put up in a fancy place by your company doesn't count).
Socialism encourages laziness and dependence on the government in my opinion.

Jon Dice said...

I love this article and agree with your viewpoints. Now that Obama is in office, he is going to use this "bailout" to promote his special interest agenda. That is why the abortion thing is in there. There is so much mud thrown into this thing it is ridiculous..ie $600 million for new government cars. How is that going to help stimulate the economy? Great job on your blog and keep it up!

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