Democratic Socialism Explained

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Lets start with a few definitions and then expand onto some of their finer points:

  • Democratic socialism is a political ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system.
  • Democratic socialism is distinguished from both the Soviet model of centralized socialism and from social democracy, where “social democracy” refers to support for political democracy and regulation of the capitalist economy.
  • Socialism is a range of social and economic systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production; as well as the political ideologies, theories, and movements that aim at their establishment.

Us humans? We’re better when we work together. Cut-throat Capitalism has been a great success for business and industry and surely had a place in propelling post war American into the economic forefront, but lately it hasn’t been great for us regular people. It works for banks and corporations but not for healthcare and education. We hear a lot about “redistribution of wealth” as if somehow we give too much to the needy. The reality is we have been redistributing our wealth to the top earners for DECADES. Through the deregulation of our financial system (the slick moves that caused the financial crisis of 2008) income tax loopholes used and abused by the wealthy (not available to us regular people) and paying a higher percentage of our incomes in tax, we have been bleeding our middle class money up to the super rich for quite long enough.

Include now the effect of Citizens United and the ability for corporations to quite literally buy votes and elections, and we have ourselves in quite a mess.

Lately in the news we’ve been hearing a lot of garbage. Mostly empty rhetoric and misunderstood terminology. By simply yelling “SOCIALIST” at every Bernie Sanders supporter what you are doing is defining a globally established ideology, not saying a swear word. Enjoy Firefighters? Yea that’s a government run socialist program. Its not anti-American, its WILDLY American. Like to support our troops? Yep you guessed it, another socialist program. Should we bring more people into the middle class, or continue to redistribute our wealth upwards to the top 1% like we have been for decades?  Is it a good idea to let the top earners in our country pay nearly zero dollars in taxes while the rest of us struggle to pay rent?

Do you know what derivative trading is? It is a system in which high speed stock exchange programs pass money back and forth to one another and siphon off pennies by speculating on the change in stock prices. You can find more information on it here. Its not something us regular people can do and its a relatively new phenomenon that’s been around for less than 20 years. Bernie Sanders (whom I was reluctant to mention by name in this post) is proposing a number of programs by which to tax this obscure form of trading that adds nothing to our economy only bleeds money from it. Through a tax on wall street speculation we will be able to afford a number of programs, the least of which is guaranteeing education to our children. Seems as though we always have trillions of dollars to send men and women off to fight and die in illegal and unjust wars, but not enough to provide our next generation with the education they need to lead the world. Lets invest in America.

Lets understand our political systems and use the ones that benefit us, not scream generalizations at them.

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Climate Change – IPCC – Real Data

Below is a link to the “Robust Findings” section from the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) report of 2007. This is data from real scientists from around the world with no vested interest in American politics or corporations. They operate in a world of facts and objective findings with their mission being to learn more about our planet and maybe, just maybe, save our future.

This is merely one section in the final summary of the IPCC analysis. I encourage anyone reading this link to dive as deeply into this report as you can.  It is of crucial importance to learning the facts and changing the minds of people who listen to what Glenn Becks and BP CEO’s say on television instead of scientists who care about knowledge and our earth, not money or elections…

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains6-1.html

The Straight of Hormuz

Recently the United States has set in motion a series of sanctions against Iran. These sanctions are designed to put financial pressure on the Iranian state due to rising suspicions about their nuclear ambitions. There have been multiple reports of different facilities enriching uranium which the United States and their allies  believe could be used for nuclear weapons and not just energy. In response to these sanctions the Iranian military backed by the support of president  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad {A} and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei {B} are threatening to close the Straight of Hormuz. This area of ocean off the Arabian Peninsula has the highest level of oil movement in the world. About 14 tankers carrying 15.5 million barrels of crude oil pass through the strait each day, making it one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. This represents 35% of the world’s seaborne oil shipments, and 20% of oil traded worldwide in 2011. {C} This is a dangerous situation for both the west and the rest of the world. With our dependence on middle eastern oil and no sign of alternative fuels picking up steam it is imperative we measure our options with care to secure our future of transportation and production in all sections of our economy. It is a scary prospect to think our country is “not ruling out” a military strike on Iran in relation to energy accessability. Its obvious that this needs to come as a better late than never style wake up call about our national energy independence. As the most powerful nation in the world as well as the one that consumes the most energy it is a must for us to secure a domestic energy source for our future. Whether this means drilling for oil right here at home and ignoring the pointless and inevitable bickering and quite frankly “bitching” by our relentless activists (which by the way few other nations even have any of) or utilizing nuclear, solar, tidal, or geothermal energy we have available to us. There should be no reason we don’t allow the Canadians (our allies) to build a pipeline down to Houston to refine oil domestically.

Sourced:

{A} http://in.reuters.com/article/2008/04/30/iran-economy-khamenei-idINDAH03115420080430?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

{B} http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Khamenei

 {C}  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_of_Hormuz

Political Ice Age

In the current global political climate, the world is run by a small group of elderly, elite, and exclusively affluent individuals who control nations. These nations, especially capitalistic nations, are governed with the intention to protect elite individuals and serve the needs and wants of large corporations, not their people. In The United States of America, we are tied into a “social contract” with our government. This contract is simple and is the most basic of rules; it goes something like this “citizens pay taxes and obey laws under the pretense that our government protect the PEOPLE and their best interests” nowhere in this agreement is it said that the people be disregarded and left to dangle on the fringe while a small percentage of wealthy individuals and large companies reap all the benefits and protections promised not to political cash contributors, but to the PEOPLE.

This does not mean that millionaires do not create jobs, quite the contrary. Millionaires and large corporations in America, complete with an elite board of directors, stockholders and CEO’S, offer thousands if not millions of jobs annually. The problem lies not with whether they create jobs or not, it’s the location and types of jobs which are created and the careful planning that goes into making sure these jobs offer limited social and economic mobility.  Because, after all, why narrow the gap between rich and poor, when its already there… Sure we’ve all heard the “I started in the mailroom” story. What commentators fail to consider is that if John Q started in the mailroom when he was 15 and is now a 65 year old executive, that would mean he started on his ‘american dream’ journey some 50 years ago, in the 1960s. Now it doesn’t take a Harvard Law professor to explain how many political, social, economic and regulatory light years we are away from that time. Everything has changed. The market is saturated. There are more people, more businesses, different social classes, and a lot, and I mean a lot more money. In fact there is about 65% more money in the market today than there was then. I am not making some sort of mathematical inference about society and changes and how we all deserve to be wealthy, all I am saying is times have changed and despite what the current GOP chimp of the month will say, we need to change as well.