Friday, April 29, 2011

Socialism in the United States

Socialism is a strong word in our country.  It typically carries with it an aspect that places those accused of espousing it on the defensive.  Labeling people doesn't change what they believe.  Calling someone a "socialist" doesn't make them one.  Likewise, saying "I'm not a socialist" doesn't make you any less of one in-and-of itself.  What does make you (or not make you) a socialist are your opinions, views, beliefs, convictions, actions, voting record, and statements that YOU have control over.  Those aspects of your life can be analyzed and categorized to align with an ideology.  The fact that you align with socialism views and opinions will make you a socialist, just as your rejection of their ideals in your life will make you not a socialist.  Ultimately, it is your choice.

Just so everyone understands what it means to be a socialist, I'd like to run down some of the more "interesting" aspects of the political movement in our country:
  1. Immediate and unconditional withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  2. Immediate end to all U.S. aid to Israel.
  3. Abolition of the CIA and NSA
  4. Unconditional disarmament of the United States
  5. Disbanding NATO
  6. A constitutional amendment requiring a binding vote of the people on all issues of war or military intervention
  7. The rights of soldiers to form unions.
  8. The rights of all workers to form unions with no limit on their ability to strike
  9. Militant, united labor action
  10. Same benefits for part-time workers as full-time workers
  11. Increasing the size and enforcement power of OSHA
  12. Creation of a fund to pay full wages, health insurance, and education/retraining costs if a worker loses their job due to down-sizing or even going out of business.
  13. 30-hour work week at no loss of pay, with six weeks of annual paid vacation
  14. Immediate withdrawal from North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  15. Immediate withdrawal from Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
  16. Oppose the creation of a widened Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
  17. Community ownership and control of corporations
  18. Minimum wage of $15/hr, indexed to cost of living
  19. Guaranteed annual income.
  20. Financial and Insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated.
  21. Steeply graduated income tax.
  22. Steeply graduated estate tax.
  23. Maximum income limits
  24. Progressive capital gains tax
  25. Progressive luxury tax
  26. Increased and expanded welfare assistance
  27. Increased and expanded unemployment compensation for the full period of unemployment.
  28. Massive federal investment in both urban and rural areas
  29. Elimination of tax breaks to corporations
  30. Legalization of same-sex marriage
  31. Recognize an intimate link between racism and capitalism
  32. Strongly support affirmative action
  33. Call for reparations from the federal government for slavery
  34. Oppose declaring English as an official language
  35. Demand all public and private institutions provide services and materials in the languages of anyone they serve.
  36. The inclusion of people with mental and developmental disabilities on all local and state governing boards and commissions
  37. Affirmative action quotas for hiring people with disabilities at union wages
  38. Oppose any effort to restrict the definition of who is considered a person with a disability
  39. Prohibition against the denial of credit based on disability.
  40. Demand that Social Security remain entirely within the public sector and funded by steeply graduated income tax on all income, earned and unearned.
  41. Retirement age of 55.
  42. Cap on Social Security benefits to ensure nobody receives more than three times the minimum regardless of how much they paid in.
  43. Increase in home services, including home-delivered meals, for all elderly.
  44. Public funded jobs and training for any senior that does not wish to retire
  45. Public funded senior centers for social and recreational activities
  46. Support for assisted suicide.
  47. Recognize that the struggle against habitual male dominance and patriarchy must go hand-in-hand with any struggle against capitalism.
  48. Free abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.
  49. Decriminalization of prostitution and full health, social, and legal services for sex workers.
  50. Fully-funded child care facilities
  51. 16-months of paid leave for new parents.
  52. Affirmative action for women in education and employment
  53. Rotating gender requirements in leadership roles
  54. Federally financed education for all children
  55. Oppose increased penalties on youth to curb crime
  56. End of military recruiting in educational institutions
  57. Abolition of parental consent requirements in abortions and other reproductive health services
  58. Mandated sexual education in schools to include methods of birth control and about being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.
  59. Lowering the voting at to 15.
  60. Guaranteed incomes and grants for artists and performers
  61. End to all public funding of private schools
  62. Public child care from infancy
  63. Public education starting at age three.
  64. Oppose paying teachers based on job performance
  65. Oppose standardized testing
  66. Oppose competition between schools.
  67. Vigorous affirmative action for teaching hiring.
  68. Vigorous affirmative action for students.
  69. Students on school boards.
  70. School boards fully accountable to students.
  71. Unrestricted sex education programs.
  72. Oppose any religious practice in public schools
  73. Oppose all efforts to limit the teaching of evolution
  74. Oppose teaching any other theory than evolution
  75. Full federal funding of AIDS research and treatment
  76. Socialized health care system for everyone
  77. Salaried doctors and health care workers, paid for by steeply graduated income tax
  78. Immediate abolition of all private health insurance companies
  79. Single-payer health care as only alternative, paid for my progressive taxation, and controlled by elected officials.  To replace Medicare and Medicaid
  80. Public ownership of pharmaceutical industry
  81. Taxpayer provided sterile needles for those that choose to use IV drugs
  82. Oppose all involuntary treatment for mental health patients; it must be voluntary and taxpayer funded
  83. The right of everyone to high-quality, low-cost housing
  84. Vast increase in taxpayer provided housing under Section 8
  85. Rent control and the rights of tenants to organize against the landlord
  86. An end to home foreclosures.
  87. Taxpayer funded high-speed national rail system with price controls on fares
  88. An end to further development of the interstate highway system
  89. Taxpayer funded foot and bicycle paths
  90. Exclusion of privately-owned vehicles from downtown area of cities and towns
  91. Taxpayer funded development of alternative fuels
  92. Taxpayer funded auto insurance
  93. Government ownership of the airline industry
  94. Condemn the War on Terrorism
  95. Immediate repeal of the Patriot Act
  96. Elimination of the Dept of Homeland Security
  97. Abolition of the FBI
  98. Open borders and full amnesty
  99. Full education, health care, and civil/legal rights for all illegal immigrants
  100. An end to law enforcement of immigration laws
  101. Elimination of the Electoral College
  102. Full representation of Guam, Puerto Rico, Indian Reservations, and D.C. in the federal government
  103. Restoration of the right to vote for everyone in jails and prisons
  104. Free attorneys of choice for everyone
  105. Immediate closure of all "Supermax" prisons and abolition of privately operated prisons
  106. Abolition of prisoner labor
  107. Prisoner's rights to unionize
  108. Immediate creation of elected police control and oversight councils to arrest, detain, and indict police officers.
  109. Replacement of police with community conflict resolution residents
  110. Taxpayer funded buyouts of guns
  111. Decriminalization of all drug use
  112. Elimination of any funding to stop the influx of drugs
  113. Federal law prohibiting the death penalty
  114. Forcing the breakup of large media companies
  115. Federal ownership of all satellite and cable companies
  116. Taxpayer funded newspapers and magazines
  117. Oppose copyright laws and digital rights management
  118. Government ownership of at least 50% of the available Internet bandwidth and domain naming system
  119. Immediate participation in the Kyoto Protocol, limiting carbon emission, and worldwide efforts to control global warming
  120. Oppose all nuclear power
  121. Price-fixing for utilities so that the rich pay more for electricity, gas, etc.
  122. Government regulations promoting organic food over non-organic
  123. Taxpayer-funded repayment of expenses to farmers
  124. Repudiation of all current farm debt for working farmers
  125. Any land or equipment that was taken in foreclosure be given back or paid for
  126. Complete ban on Genetically Engineered crops
  127. Oppose feedlots and industrial poultry production
  128. Eliminate the use of pesticides
  129. Taxpayer-subsidized low-interest loans to grow staple foods instead of non-essentials
  130. Encourage hemp farming
  131. Ban on animal experimentation for product development
This is just a partial list of the party platform for the United States' Socialist Party.  Next time you listen to political discussions, I want to you listen closely.  We already have at least 1% of our Senate that's controlled by this agenda - Bernie Sanders (VT) - and he's been a mayor of the state capital for 8 years, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years, and in the Senate for 5 years.  He has been involved in the following Congressional Subcommittees:
  1. Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
  2. Green Jobs and the New Economy (Chairman)
  3. Transportation and Infrastructure
  4. Energy
  5. National Parks
  6. Water and Power
  7. Children and Families
  8. Retirement and Aging
Additionally, he has been involved in the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on the Budget.  How can this be?  He's just the one that CLAIMS TO BE A SOCIALIST - how many don't?


Chris said...

Pretty much each item on the list is annoying, put them all together and I have to wonder if people have hit their heads really hard too many damn times!

Infinite Spiral said...

Thank you for your comment. I think some items on the list could be argued/debated and any downside could be mitigated in some other area. The problem with the entire platform is that each of them destroys some part of our society that would provide the protection, support, or other mitigating influence such that if implemented in its entirety, no nation could survive. History shows us this point 100% of the time so it's always amazing when someone thinks "I'd like to try it again - with YOUR money".

Anonymous said...

Show this to an Obama Supporter and they don't and won't believe it!