Barack Obama

Obama Suggests People Who Think He's a Socialist "Meet Real Socialists"

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Reason

Yesterday, President Obama told an audience at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit that people who think he's a socialist ought to "meet real socialists," adding that "my health care reform is based on the private marketplace."

Having spent a decent chunk my life in Europe, I have to say I am sympathetic to the president's sentiments. Obama may be a center-left politician, but he has nothing on many left-wing politicians in Europe.

From Politico:

President Obama on Tuesday dismissed critics who call him a "socialist," suggesting they meet some real socialists if they think he's one.

"People call me a socialist sometimes," he said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, addressing 100 top business leaders.

"But, no, you gotta meet real socialists. You'll have a sense of what a socialist is," he said to laughter from the crowd.

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  1. Yesterday, President Obama told an audience at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit that people who think he’s a socialist ought to “meet real socialists,”

    He’s right. Obama is weak-tea socialism. The real Amy Goodman-socialists in this country are none too happy with BushBama.

    adding that “my health care reform is based on the private marketplace.”

    He’s wrong. It’s weak-tea socialism. Actually, it’s more fascism in the true sense. Private actors remains owners of their company, the government just controls and directs the results of production.

    1. the government just controls and directs the results of production.

      Based on it’s results from trying to develop and run a website, and the recent testimony of the tech leader of the project, the one with 20 jowels, I don’t see them running a pay toilet without it turning into an explosion of shit.

      1. O God. What will he do with the trains?

        1. Friend of mine just took a trip on AmTrak, I picked him up at the train station.

          It was completely on time. I mean, like 7 minutes early, perfect time. AmTrak train ran perfectly on time. Say what you will about Obama, but the trains run on time.

          Except it was a bus. An Amtrak bus. And they locked his car in the lot he left from, which was open from something like 2300 – 0930.

          But it was on time, damnit.

          1. Must have been the train from the previous day, delayed by 1433 minutes :-.

    2. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

      1. One owns the means of production, one owns the results of production.

        You know who else controlled the results of production?

        1. I have less freedom, less prosperity, less property, and so on. And the state grows ever larger. Does it matter who is wearing the boot on my neck?

          1. Does it matter who is wearing the boot on my neck?

            Yes. One boot is designed by Hugo Boss, the other is designed by… someone else.

            1. Do you know what other boots Hugo Boss designed?

          2. It’s hard to judge, but I’d guess that Fascism (assuming you don’t try to start a war with the whole world) probably has better outcomes than socialism, or at least takes longer to really collapse (again, assuming they don’t start huge wars with everyone).

            And I think that it is an oversimplification to call anything short of an acceptably free market “socialism”.

          1. That would be okay if he could still make good movies.

        2. The referee in the Carolina/NE game?

      2. “my health care reform is based on the private marketplace.”

        The gov’t tells you that you must buy the shoes, how many you must and can buy, what size shoes you can buy, what they’re made of, how many lace holes they have, controls the materials they’re made licenses the workers who make them.
        Other than that, it’s a “free market”.

        1. Look, you get to choose from like two or three government-designed/directed/approved shoes. It’s totally free.

          1. Look, you get to decide between a Democrat and a Republican oppressor. You’re totally free.

          2. And everyone pays the same price for shoes regardless of how big their feet are. Because charging people with big feet more for shoes would be evil discrimination.

            In fact, everyone just pays an annual shoe fee and gets as many pairs as they want. Otherwise, we would be discriminating against people who have to walk a lot.

            But it’s not real socialism.

            1. “And everyone pays the same price for shoes regardless of how big their feet are.”
              Thanks, HM. The list grows longer.

              1. And the shoes don’t necessarily fit.

                1. And there are waiting lists to get them.

                  It’s odd how ObamaCare somehow manages to replicate almost all the problems that socialist economies have, without actually being socialist.

                  One might almost think that the defining feature of socialism has nothing to do with who owns the shoe factory.

                  1. Excellent point!

        2. Now that it’s falling apart, it’s all based on the free market.

        3. Don’t forget that you have to pay for it with fiat money controlled by the government.

    3. Agreed, he’s not a socialist at all. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool machine politician who knows nothing but arm-twisting, cronyism, and campaigning. Oh, and craving power.

      Really, calling him a socialist is a compliment. It implies he has some kind of philosophy other than “seek power” and “self-aggrandize”.

      1. Really, calling him a socialist is a compliment. It implies he has some kind of philosophy other than “seek power” and “self-aggrandize”.

        +1 cult of personality.

      2. Correct!

        Obama believes in Obama – that’s it. He doesn’t have that belief in something outside himself that can make men visionary or fanatical.

      3. Agreed. He is a fellow traveler, but Obama is far too stupid to be a socialist. Even if he were, it’s clear at this point that he is not calling the shots in his administration.

      4. Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.

      5. arm-twisting, cronyism, and campaigning. Oh, and craving power.

        I propose the new term “Crony Socialism”

    4. A socialist is someone who thinks your stuff should belong to them, because they know better what to do with it.

      Socialists are greedy, and project that character trait on those who disagree with them and merely want to allow everyone the freedom to spend their own money as they wish.

    5. Actually, it’s more fascism in the true sense.

      I keep trying to tell people this. They think I’m being hyperbolic because I used the word fascism.

    6. I disagree socialism and fascism differ only in their scale. Fascism is national while socialism is international.

      Both socialism and fascism can employ the: “Private actors remains owners of their company, the government just controls and directs the results of production.” method.

      1. Also Obama has no problem with controlling and directing the means of production of private companies.

      2. FedGov is compelling foreign banks to collect taxes on US citizens. Sounds international to me.

        Therefore, socialist.

  2. “my health care reform is based on the private marketplace.”

    Your health care deform is based on ‘trying to micro manage and thereby fucking up’ the private marketplace. That’s what modern socialists do, comrade Obi-Wan Retardo, where the fuck have you been for the last 20 years? Maybe you should go talk to your comrades in China, because they gave up on the big commie dream of no private market a long time ago and instead turned to cronyism. The only country that I’m aware of trying to achieve pure socialism is Venezuela, and their people are going to be starving to death en masse from it before too much longer.

    You are a stupid, stupid man, Barack Obama.

    1. “…health care deform…”

      I see what you did there.

    2. He’s a dishonest man – and his worst lies are the ones he tells and believes himself. It makes him a fool.

    3. So, Obama’s not a socialist then. Fascist is a closer term.

    4. The only country that I’m aware of trying to achieve pure socialism is Venezuela, and their people are going to be starving to death en masse from it before too much longer.

      Voting for the same politicians promising them free shit if only they rid the country of the wreckers and America-sympathizers all the way. People that stupid pretty much deserve what they get (same can be said for America). Unfortunately, the minority that isn’t stupid gets what the stupid majority deserves as well.

      1. “Unfortunately, the minority that isn’t stupid gets what the stupid majority deserves as well.”

        Socialist equality right there.

  3. Having spent a decent chunk my life in Europe, I have to say I am sympathetic to the president’s sentiments.

    Why, of course you are, but the question is, were there footnotes attached to this comment?

    1. +1

  4. This is like someone hitting me in the head with a hammer and saying afterwards, “Could’ve been worse. Might’ve hit you with a mallet.”

    1. I find that I’m much more partial to the satisfying, cartoon like clang from a frying pan.

      1. I’m more of an anvil or piano guy myself.

        1. [fires Lazy Gun at RBS]

          1. (comet smashes into NutraSweet)

              1. +15 ACME divident points

    2. I think the mallet would do less damage, even if it’s bigger, because the force per square inch is lower.

  5. I agree Obama isn’t a socialist…not in his public role. He is however a puppet!

    Frankly I’d rather be called a socialist!

  6. “It could be worse, comrades” is really a very strong defense.

    1. I do find it rather amusing that Obama has been reduced to this argument in describing his own legacy.

      1. Sure, people are lined up online for health insurance, but they’re not lined up for shoes.

    1. I feel really sorry for the people there that didn’t vote for that idiot.

      We’ve been watching coverage of what’s happening there on Globo TV. They’re arresting and jailing shop owners and the hoardes are pillaging and destroying the stores and the merchandise. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such wholesale insanity. They are destroying their own access to all consumer goods. These people are going to be so dirt poor that they’ll be eating dirt soon.

      1. It’s an object lesson in just how low you can go and people still don’t suddenly say, “Ohhh, NOW I get it.”

        1. Well, what they’re getting is “everything is now fucked, I need to get what I can while I can”.

          Once you wreck the system, it’s not easy for people to go “oops, that was stupid, let’s just reverse all the damage that’s been done with a snap of the fingers”.

          1. It appears that Maduro is Chavez on steroids. He looks like Sadam Hussein and is apparently batshit crazy. He must have been ass raped by a bus full of capitalists back when he was a lowly bus driver.

            1. ….and is apparently batshit crazy.

              Isn’t this synonymous with South American socialist dictator?

              They always fall for it too! Big strong man gonna make everything just okey dokey!

              What is it about the southern latitudes and humidity that makes one so poor at pattern recognition?

              1. Remember that time I called Chavez a caudillo and joe got pissed? Ah, good times. I wonder if joe’s killed himself yet.

                1. joe tried, but he was too short to reach the noose he flung over the rafter. Even with a chair. We should send him a gun.

                2. I wonder if joe’s killed himself yet.

                  No, he’s over at DailyKos.

                  1. A fate worse than death.

                3. Remember that time I called Chavez a caudillo and joe got pissed?

                  Chavez closed down the press for the people!!!

              2. I dunno, I guess it depends on how far south you go.

                Uruguay has a guy that drives around in a 40 year old car and who legalized pot.

                And then there is the guy in Chile. I will trade Obama for the president of Chile right now, no questions asked.

            2. “Batshit crazy” is a prerequisite for Vice President.

              1. No…in Bidens case it’s really more a case of “Batshit Stupid”!

          2. Well, what they’re getting is “everything is now fucked, I need to get what I can while I can”.

            We’re in phase .5 Beta of that in this country.

            Currently, we let politicians smash the storefronts for us under the color of law. Pretty soon, we’ll just be doing it ourselves.

            1. Well, pretty soon the bolivar will be pretty much worthless, and they’ll have toilet paper again.

      2. Not that fancy store-bought dirt. That stuff’s loaded with nutrients.

      3. Funny, it sounds more like the Anarchy that Tony was hyperventilating about on the Jacket’s thread.

      4. Holy shit. Get out, get out NOW.

    2. He’ll renounce that after the emergency is over. I’m sure of it, and so is half of Hollywood.

    3. In totally unrelated news, Venezuela’s legislature “votes” to give Maduro the power to rule by decree.

      In Joez world, that’s an effective democracy.

      Ahh, joe.

      1. My favorite joe argument.

    4. Dammit, Socialism WILL work this time!

      1. Only if you rename it to progressivism and move foward!

        I really want to strangle the next asshole that I hear say something about ‘moving the country forward’.

            1. Warty, all small-government types want to use government to monitor women’s vaginas 24-7.

              Don’t you know anything?

              1. Well, I mean, I like creepshots as much as any man, but I have my small government principles. I’d be satisfied with only a 100% increase in the Department of Perversion’s budget next fiscal year.

                1. I like the way you think. Clearly you’re a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government.

    5. The comments…oh God, why did I read the comments…

      1. alphavillebooks
        6:38 AM EST
        “Also, there is the delimma of the Venezuelan refinery that blew up in the last year or so (the Amuay Bay Lagoven refinery” Sabotage.

        “I would imagine that Velezuela will be bankrupt in the very near future. Too bad because it didn’t have to happen”. If only the Venezuelan people would have continued to allow 75% of the population to live in abject poverty so rich white American donkeys like me could receive the fruits of their exploitation, the spoiled scraps left by the venture capitalists.
        ReplyShare

    6. You know who else was voted the power to rule by decree?

  7. I think that the socialist accusation against Obama refers to his personal feelings and is based on what we know about his past. It’s not that anybody thinks he’s governing as one. He doesn’t have the political capital to govern like one even if he wanted to.

    1. ^This

    2. He doesn’t have the political capital to govern like one even if though he wanteds to.

    3. Thing is I don’t think he wants to.

      Sure he hung out with and learned from Socialists, that doesn’t change the fact that he also hung out with and learned from chicago machine politicians and organized labor leaders (for whom socialism would be a death knell)

      It is pretty clear he is a collectivist and a believer in technocratic superiority, he is not at all antagonistic to corporate interests and while he has some concern for “social justice” he’s much more interested in pulling down the rich than raising up the poor.

      None of that makes him a Socialist, either in the classical sense or the more modern Social Democrat sense. He doesn’t want to turn America into a European Social Welfare state, I doubt he would actually create a UK style NHS if he had the power to he’d be much more likely to leave private insurance companies and medical providers in place and fund them through government programs (sort of an Obamacare on Steroids)

      Economically at the very least Obama is a Fascist, there is no other name for it

      1. ….and a believer in technocratic superiority…

        +1 health care website

      2. he’s much more interested in pulling down the rich

        Only if by pulling down the rich you mean to burden them with more riches. Seems to me the only people who have benefited from his reign have been Wall Streeters.

        1. The technocrats in DC seem to be doing well.

      3. “, I doubt he would actually create a UK style NHS if he had the power to he’d be much more likely to leave private insurance companies and medical providers in place and fund them through government programs (sort of an Obamacare on Steroids)”

        I don’t see any evidence of this. The attempts to get a Public Option in place shows that he totally wants at least single payer (which would eliminate the Insurance industry).

      4. I doubt he would actually create a UK style NHS if he had the power to

        I’ll take him at his word. Just because the ACA was the bill he could get through congress doesn’t mean it is the bill he wanted.

    4. Well, either that or he’s a libertarian plant. I mean, to hear some of the optimists tell it, progressivism will be dirty word for a generation by the time this guy’s through with it.

  8. Having spent a decent chunk my life in Europe, I have to say I am sympathetic to the president’s sentiments. Obama may be a center-left politician, but he has nothing on many left-wing politicians in Europe.

    One time when I was arguing politics with a co-worker, she mentioned that Obama is not a true socialist but more of a centrist guy.

    I responded to her this way: “You may be right. So far the facts seem to suggest that he’s not a socialist; I mean, his mother was a socialist; his father was a socialist; his step-father was a socialist; his grandparents were both socialists; the mentor that his grandfather brought forth [Frank Marshall Davis] was a socialist; his college professors were all socialists; his friends and colleagues were all socialists; but certainly, there is no reason whatsoever to conclude that Obama is a socialist. None.”

    1. To be sure, how much more socialism would we have if the Democrats hadn’t lost the House?

    2. Shhhhh! It’s ‘progressive’. Remember, socialist fell out of favor some years after it replaced the word ‘communism’.

      Progressive is so much nicer of a word. It’s about progress. You know, moving forward. Who doesn’t want that, unless they hate the children.

      I wonder what their next name will be after the progressives have to go into hiding for the ruin and destruction that they wrought?

      1. I think the next iteration will be called “cute-little-bunny-rabbitism”.

    3. Benito Mussolini’s father was one of the leading socialist politicians in Italy. Mussolini changed from pure socialism when he realized that a powerful government that opposed them would gain the backing of powerful business figures. They would give him tons of money and support so long as he let them “own” their businesses and let them live.

      He could have all the power he wanted, and as a bonus, he didn’t even have to go through the trouble of remaking society. He just needed a bunch of goons to beat the shit out of anyone who disagreed.

      The parallel isn’t exact, but it’s there.

      1. Yes, it does seem to be a little closer to what’s happening now. Top-down control, though with the fiction of private ownership. It’s not new with Obama, and I’ve long thought of the practice of the government taking practical control over businesses, though not legal ownership (which would be socialism), as “regulatory socialism.”

        1. Well, they effectively took control of all private property with property taxes, even though those are local. So what’s left? They’re already starting to take control of all business through regulation and cronyism. The only thing left after that is one’s own self, and that is what Obamacare is for.

        2. You’re looking at it in terms of socialism’s negative effects on a certain class of people and opining that if you’re being hurt by the system now and you would be hurt by an actually socialist system, what’s the difference?

          The difference is the other people who aren’t in that certain class of people. The idea of socialism is that everybody works together toward the common good of supporting everybody.

          The fact that the current government arbitrarily confiscates privately earned wealth and redistributes it to their friends does not make it socialist, even though it may feel the same to the people whose money is being taken away.

          1. This is why socialism is only a pipe dream and can never work as a big centrally planned utopia, in reality..

            People cooperate on their own without coercion. That’s the only type of socialism that will work. Government run socialism only leads to poverty for most and the enrichment, empowerment, and corruption of a selected few ruling elites.

            1. Absolutely true – socialism works on a village level and a village level only. When governments co-opt it, it can only have negative results.

              My only point is that calling every little bit of irresponsible behavior on government’s part socialism strips the word of any meaning and isolates the person doing it, who is simply using it more in the sense of “turdface” than in any sense that carries real content.

              1. Sure, government does lots of bad things that can’t be defined as socialism. Fascism, corruption, greed, cronyism, and tyranny, just to name a few other modes of bad that governments are capable of.

                But theft in the name of socialism, social justice, progress, whatever, remains a big problem.

      2. It can’t be fascism if they’re not killing Jews.

        1. Oh, right. Have to concede that.

        2. Mussolini didn’t kill any Jews – neither did Franco.

          1. Mussolini didn’t at first, but when he got stuck with Hitler as BFF’s he changed his tune. Franco went after freemasons instead of jews.

  9. It’s true. Obama is not a socialist. Nor a communist. Nor a fascist. Or any other -ist. Because those -ists all have ultimately have (wrong) principles and ideology behind them. Obama’s only principle is “I’m in charge now.”

    He’s just a plain old fashioned authoritarian.

    1. “I’m in charge now, bitch.”

      Fixed.

    2. Or any other -ist.

      Narcissist?

      1. Marist College?

      2. I am very suspicious of protagonists; I understand that literature and entertainment is rife with them, but they never identify themselves as such.

        1. Snow Crash.

    3. Eh, fascism doesn’t have principles so much as its own ecology and understanding of human behavior.

      Otherwise, spot on.

  10. He’s some amalgamation of socialism/facism/cronyism/FYTWism. We can call it shitheelist, if that’ll make Feeney happy.

  11. Even Lenin favored a New Economic Program, which permitted private enterprise under strict state supervision, following the disaster of so-called “war communism”.

    This didn’t make Lenin less of a socialist.

    But Obama can count on the historical ignorance of his listeners.

    1. “Karl Marx shopped at the local privately owned grocery store. Therefore, he was a capitalist”

  12. Oh, I think Obama is a socialist at heart. It’s just his “pragmatism” that forces him to tone it down. If his poll numbers continue to remain in the dump, we’ll see the angry leftist clown come out in force.

  13. Actually, I agree that Obama is not a socialist. More like a National Socialist.

  14. Having spent a decent chunk my life in Europe, I have to say I am sympathetic to the president’s sentiments. Obama may be a center-left politician, but he has nothing on many left-wing politicians in Europe.

    I’m not impressed with either yours or Obama’s understanding of political-economic theory and its development through the previous four centuries. When Bastiat wrote about socialist, Obama fits the metric to a T.

    “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
    ? Fr?d?ric Bastiat, The Law

    1. That book–which is a short and easy read–should be on reading lists for high schoolers everywhere.

      1. I like it better than Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, and I freakin’ love Hazlitt. Just the style and tone of The Law is wonderful on it own. Every page has that quality of its most famous quote of artful assembly. I even have it in the French, though admittedly, my French which was once sharp is now pretty poor.

        1. Economics in One Lesson is a book while The Law is a rant. A book is more persuasive but a rant more fun.

    2. It is as if we want the poor to have no healthcare, because we do not want the state to force people to buy healthcare insurance.

      1. Nice.

  15. Personally, I think the “Obama is a socialist” arguments are a distraction, I’d much rather talk about how inept he is as a president and how destructive his policies are, regardless of any labels.

    That having been said, any moderation he has in comparison to Euro-socialists is based on political circumstances, not ideological centrism.

    1. Exactly. Calling Obama a socialist means precisely nothing, but sets progs in a tizzy because a lot of them actually have a sense that failure to be a radical libertarian and being a radical socialist are not the same thing.

      This engenders a belief among Obama supporters that Obama’s critics don’t understand what socialism actually is, and thus aren’t to be taken seriously.

    2. No, because then people will think his policies would fine if the right top men were implementing them. We have to tear down the philosophy too, even though Obama is mucking up the implementation of it.

  16. I tend to agree that he is not really a socialist. And I think it is a big waste of time to argue about it. Especially with non-libertarians since to a libertarian, pretty much everything else looks like socialism.
    Fascist is more accurate, but even more loaded.

    1. Read my comment above.

      It may not be helpful to tell someone their support of minimum wage laws makes them a socialist, or to show them where they are in agreement with the bullet points of the Communist Manifesto if the goal is to persuade them to your side, but if your goal is to tell them the truth, communism and socialism are not freak abominations that impede democracy, but the natural tendency within it to justify overreach than you are doing them a bigger service than to get them to change their vote.

      1. There are bullet points in the Communist Manifesto that are in agreement with bullet points in Mein Kampf and in The Wealth of Nations.

        Are Karl Marx, Adam Smith, and Adolph Hitler to be thought as a socialist cabal?

        1. This is fascinating!

          I’ve read both Mein Kampf and Wealth of Nations, but I don’t remember seeing this.

          Could you enlighten us by sharing them?

          1. Really? You got through both books and found that they disagreed on every single point of observation regarding the world? That’s really quite remarkable.

            If I opine that the people of a country have a right to rise up and replace their repressive rulers, am I a Marxist or a Jeffersonian? Or Both? Since they agree with each other.

            Is it really that complex of an observation to point out that just because you may agree with someone on one point that you don’t necessarily commit yourself to their entire world view and political program?

            Is that something that really needs demonstrating?

            1. Soooo, what are the bullet points of agreement?

              Obviously I missed them, and I am really eager to remedy my oversight.

              Why not be a Virgil to my Dante and walk me through them?

              1. To make things easy, I should point out that Adam Smith actually propounded the Labor Theory of Value in the Wealth of Nations, which Karl Marx did adopt and run with.

                As I recall Hitler was of the opinion that the value of things was whatever was in the best interests of the state/volk, and thus propounded no objective theory of value whatsoever. In this Hitler was more correct than Adam Smith and Marx since value is subjectively assigned by individuals and cannot be objectively assigned.

                1. Miss the point much?

                  1. Miss the point much?

                    You sure did!

                    That there are generic similarities common to virtually all political theories does not make specific similarities irrelevant.

                2. The thing about the labor theory of value proposed by early economists including Adam Smith is that it was actually an advancement over zero sum thinking that was predominant in their own time.

        2. Why are you using the word cabal? What does that add to the discussion?

          1. Please don’t distract him from answering my question Killaz. I really am interested in hearing about the agreement between Karl Marz, Adam Smith and Adolf Hitler.

            1. I’ll bow out. Have a go at the fool.

    2. Radical centrist fits the best, but even less people know what that is than know what a classical liberal is.

  17. Hollande isn’t a real socialist either, he’s quite the power-hungry fellow.

    1. The two seem to go hand-in-hand to me, despite the marketing.

    2. The thing about socialism, or any political philosophy that necessarily centralizes power, is that it attracts TOP MEN who are power hungry. It doesn’t matter if it’s France, Venezuela, North Korea, or the U.S. The worst people for the job will always be the ones who want it the most.

    3. There are no socialists, not really. All of the people who claim to have implemented or supported socialism are lying or were confused.

      This of course means that the ideology is not tarnished by the example of those deviationists and that we should endeavor to install Top Men to implement socialism post-haste.

  18. Is rasillio Matt Feeney? I think it was him that is tired of people using the word socialist incorrectly. Has anyone seen Ras and Feeney in the same room?

    1. I don’t use the word incorrectly, it is always on the spot, on the money with full knowledge of the evolution of the concept over many centuries and many cultures.

    2. ROTFL, no

      I am not a writer for Reason or anywhere else.

      Writing as a profession simply does not pay enough to be worth pursuing as a career. No I get paid to test software (or more recently to develop automated tests of software) and commenting on here is my distraction while working out how to design a test.

      That said I do have a habbit of making comments that exceed a lot of the articles on H+R in length so maybe they should pay me 🙂

      1. Damn! Thought I had connected the dots on a conspiracy.
        BTW: sorry for misspelling your handle.

  19. Question:

    What’s the difference between socialist ideology and liberal/progressive ideology that would preclude one from accurately calling modern liberals/progressives socialists?

    I have some thoughts myself, but I’d like to hear others opinions.

    1. Modern liberals still pay lip service the free-market (not very convincingly), though less so than 15 years ago.

    2. From their perspective, the reason they (like Obama) say they aren’t socialists is that they don’t usually advocate the direct nationalization of industries. Just everything but that. Mostly.

      1. That’s what they’d say, I agree.

        But what’s the difference between government owned and government controlled? Except they allow the owner to keep an “appropriate” profit.

        The end result is the same. They disincentivize wealth creation.

        1. I’d also add there is a difference between modern liberals and progressives.

          Progressives have become full up statists.

          1. Progressives have become full up statists

            They always had to be complete and utter Statists. It is the only way to re-order society in line with thier doctrine, up to and including the elimination of all individual rights.

          2. I think it’s mostly re-branding the same old defective product.

            However, the old, defective product is now new, and even worse.

        2. That’s why I preserve the “socialism” in “regulatory socialism.” It’s still total control over things by the state, whatever the paperwork says about ownership.

        3. But what’s the difference between government owned and government controlled?

          Plausible deniability.

          When the regulatory schemes hit the fan, it’s the “greedy capitalists” who are summoned to Congress for a public scolding, not the untouchable civil servants with lifetime jobs or the mass of faceless bureaucrats who could give a fuck less because the worst that could happen to them is that they get promoted/transferred.

          1. Plausible deniability.

            THAT, AC, is the most intelligent thing I’ve read today (of course, I was reading CNN comments earlier ;-o).

            What they do is even worse than socialist, as they get to cause all the damage and then point the finger at business when their shit inevitably fails.

          2. I agree completely. It’s all about maximizing power while minimizing accountability.

          3. ^^ VERY GOOD OBSERVATION.

        4. Because the CEO of Solyndra wasn’t named “Minister of Green Energy” doesn’t make spending taxes on the company effectively a socialist pursuit. It’s socialism wearing a different dress.

        5. I’d say that one difference is that in the government regulated or controlled industries, the private owners still have an incentive to be efficient and productive even if regulation makes it far more difficult to do so. There are still competitors and alternatives to what you produce.
          With direct government ownership of industries, those incentives pretty well disappear.

      2. Yep. I’ve read commentary from progressives who say that the goal is to let the ‘free market do most of the heavy lifting’.

        So basically they plan on severely abusing the goose that lays the golden egg, but not actually killing it.

        1. Maybe that could work for a while if they had an even passing understanding of the market and economics. But they don’t. It’s the same people who think you can spend a gazillion dollars you don’t have without consequence.

          1. A libertarian, asked to implement a socialist economic structure, would probably do a better job of it, precisely because he would understand the shortcomings.

      3. They’ve learned the lessons of the Brits – when the government takes over an industry, the government gets the blame. It’s better to regulate, cajole, and subsidize the industry in question. That way the slings and arrows aren’t aimed in your direction.

        It’s socialist through corporatism – or something like that. Or Socialism 2.0

        1. Right. Look at healthcare. The government (state and federal) regulates the shit out of every aspect of that, from medical services to insurance coverage, drives up costs astronomically, etc., but only directly controls a relatively small portion of all of that. So, when it doesn’t work, the government can point fingers and say, “Not us. Them.” And they demand more power and more control.

        2. Isn’t that just called fascism?

          Of course the parasites have learned some lessons about appearances, but amazingly, they never seem to learn that they aren’t capable to controlling everything, no matter how much they want to. Obama’s learning that the hard way right now. And it’s just so delicious!

          1. No, you idiot. Fascism is right-wing and Hitler was conservative. If you’re against whatever they’re against, you are literally Hitler.

            1. Only Republicans can be fascists. I mean, Hitler was a Republican, right?

              1. Exactly. Hitler was a Republican, and the converse is equally true.

                1. So that’s why Hitler praised Republican President FD Roosevelt, when told American ambassador William Dodd that he was “in accord with the President in the view that the virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice, and discipline should dominate the entire people. These moral demands which the President places before every individual citizen of the United States are also the quintessence of the German state philosophy, which finds its expression in the slogan ‘The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual'”.

      4. Depends on the level of control.

        For example under Obamacare the government takes control of all decisions regarding what products to offer in the Medical Insurance field. They do not however control other aspects of the companies such as where they are located, whether their employees are union or not, what salaries to offer, etc.

        As a result even though the industry is heavily regulated the workers still retain the motivations of private sector workers everywhere. If on the otherhand they were government employees subject to government work rules they would be significantly less efficient, less motivated, and costlier.

        1. They do not however control other aspects … yet

          1. Look at France. They do a lot of this.

      5. It’s idiotic. They think they can get to socialism by leaving everything in private hands and just regulating it into a shape that resembles socialism. But the end result is exactly the same catastrophic dysfunction as in every socialist system.

        The problem isn’t government ownership, the problem is the inability to allow price signals and efficient resource allocation. It’s not the METHOD of socialization that’s the problem. It doesn’t matter if the state runs the companies or private owners do. It’s that the goals of socialism themselves itself are incompatible with a functioning economy.

        1. Agree completely. As mentioned by a few upthread this is classic fascism. And also mentioned upthread is the coming need of plausible deniability which will require scapegoats. Lots of scapegoats..

    3. Socialism generally requires control of the “commanding heights” of the economy, and is generally hostile to even the existence of voluntary markets to determine wage and “necessities” (as defined by the socialist in question). Marxism is the most developed and rigorous form of socialism.

      Social liberalism makes some allowances (sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes grudging) for the existence of markets in determining such things, but still calls for government intervention to “correct” unspecified “excesses” and provide a minimum baseline for living.

      Progressivism is an umbrella term created by socialists (and later used by communists) to fool others on the broad left into supporting socialism under the guise of general left-wing politics.

    4. You have to make a first distinction of a socialist political ideology versus a functioning socialist economy. When you are describing a socialist economy, it’s first distinction is the state control of resources, and the relationship between state and ownership of property. When Rothbard asked Mises where he would draw the line), he answered to the degree it prohibits stock markets. To the extent policies are liberal, as these markets are a means of exchange of resources between private actors, they do the most to impede the state’s ability to plan and allocate.

      Political socialism, as you see in Bastiat’s quote above is a distinct measure from economic systemic socialism. The first measure for me as socialist theory has developed now is the question of positive rights. Positive rights is an outgrowth of socialist theory. It’s advocacy is a means of popularizing socialism, and steering a society to accepting a system more compatible with socialist economics.

    5. Depends on what you mean by a socialist.

      A traditional socialist would be very different because they believe there should be no such thing as private property. Think North Korea.

      The more modern variety as encapsulated by “Social Democracy”, there are still some differences but not many. Mainly modern socialists believe that there are some spheres of human activity too important to be left to private control and as such some industries need to be nationalized.

      Even within the American progressive movement the idea that Health Care should be nationalized is a minority one and they prefer publicly funded to publicly owned

    6. The main difference is that American liberalism and modern progressivism have been infected with full-blown post-modernism. Neither has a coherent ideology, nor does either value the discovery of first principles or an ideology developed upon such. Progressive economics pretends to be scientific, but only to create a narrative that advances the progressive agenda.

      The various socialisms advanced by the worldly philosophers of the 19th and early 20th Century presented their ideologies (flawed as they were) as “scientific” and “modern”.

      Modern progressives yearn for a loving, utopian nanny-state that takes care of her children.

      Socialists yearn for a utopian communism end-state wherein the state withers away, and human beings finally obtain true dignity.

      Modern progressives are even more reprehensible than socialists because the former’s desired end-state inherently deprives humans of true dignity. Of course, the utopian outcomes are nonsense, but at least Marx had a vision of dignity.

      1. I think you’re onto it here – Marxism and socialism really properly died when postmodernism and deconstruction came along. Jacques Derrida argued as much in Spectres of Marx.

        Guys like Frederic Jameson, however, argued that Marxism could be saved from/with postmodernism by keeping the political program alive as a commitment even though its ideological foundation has been pulled out from under it.

        Now you’ve got a statist movement floundering around with no ideology and no clear goal – just a sense that the rich and businesses need to be assaulted and “victimized” people need to be discovered and defended.

        It is a rudderless ship driving forward at full speed.

        1. This is one of many reasons why it is a waste of time to discuss politics with a progressive. They are simply incoherent, and do not value facts, principles, and reason. It’s all about how they feel, their narratives of victimology, and a yearning for a utopian, loving nanny-state.

          1. It’s even worse than that, I think. I had the good fortune of studying deconstruction very closely with one of Derrida’s friends, who was positively disgusted with academic liberalism and its hypocrisies.

            When I was in grad school (some years ago) the narratives of victimology had literally taken over to be the only valid means of expressing a political idea.

            Far from not valuing facts, principles and reason, the Leftist interpretation of deconstruction was that fact, principles and reason are tools of the Oppressor and any one who attempts to reference them is to be dismissed from the room immediately and possibly barred from teaching.

            The really dismaying thing is that Derrida predicted that this is what would become of deconstruction, and that the statists would never realize the depth of their contradictions.

  20. President Obama on Tuesday dismissed critics who call him a “socialist,” suggesting they meet some real socialists if they think he’s one.

    “People call me a socialist sometimes,” he said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, addressing 100 top business leaders.

    “But, no, you gotta meet real socialists. You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is,” he said to laughter from the crowd.

    So…he’s acknowledging that he’s bad, but insinuating that he could be worse?

    Political chessmaster this guy.

  21. “People say this cold McDonald’s burger slathered in spoiled mayo tastes like shit, and that they should get their money back. Well, they should actually eat shit, and get a feel for what shit really tastes like.

    This sandwich isn’t shit.”

    1. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: we have to re-brand that sandwich.”

  22. This seems to be a problem of perspective.

    Alt-text: Fire Feeney.

    1. Huh, six of those eight caricatures were hipsters.

    2. This is the definitive hipster litmus test!!!

      If you call video games from the 90s “antique” or garlic mayo “artisan” then you are a hipster.

      Alternate hipster test:

      If you are younger then me then you are a hipster.

  23. This is really sad (or comically funny – take your pick). Our President no longer defends his policies. His comeback now is essentially: “Yeah, but you should see this other guy, he’s a much bigger loser than me.”

    1. “Yeah, but you should see this other guy, he’s a much bigger loser than me.”

      I think he’s going to have to name that guy, because I’m not coming up with anyone on my own…

      1. The other guy is Boback Orama, which is BO’s alter ego when hitting the happy bars after a tough day with the media.

        1. He’s supposedly a Star Trek fan. Maybe he thinks he split into Good Barry and Bad Barry?

          1. Maybe it’s in comparison to Khan. Can you imagine what would have happened over the past couple of years if Obama had kharisma and khampetence?

            1. His would be the superior. . . .

    2. Joe Biden, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, John McCain all come to mind

  24. Isn’t some troll supposed to show up here now and ask us if we even know what socialism is?

    1. Do you even know what socialism is? Did you even know that Marx’s book is titled Das Kapital?

      1. Bro, do you even Marx?

  25. people who think he’s a socialist ought to “meet real socialists,” adding that “my health care reform is based on the private marketplace.”

    Yeah… It’s a private marketplace … where everyone is required to socialize costs.

    In other words, it’s not socialist in the same way that China is communist. In name only.

    What the heck does it matter if it is privately owned if it is regulated to act just like a socialist system anyway?

    1. What the heck does it matter if it is privately owned if it is regulated to act just like a socialist system anyway?

      Again, one has uniforms designed by Hugo Boss, the other doesn’t.

      1. Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela comes to mind. You should see how fancy the Chavistas dress. But maybe they’re not real socialists.

    2. The trick to it is to get people in the private sector, people who actually know how run businesses and services, to do the work that the idiots in government can’t do. And the way to do that is to bribe the businesses in the now only so called ‘private market’, with tax payer money, aka cronyism.

      Problem is, in order for this to be even remotely successful for more than a short time, you have to not fuck with the businesses doing the work so much that it kills them off. Our government is not capable of that amount of restraint.

      1. But that’s only the “running the business” part, which isn’t the crucial part of the market. The crucial aspect of a free market is the ability of both producers and consumers to get effective price signals and make rational decisions about what to buy and sell. ObamaCare’s community rating policies DESTROY THAT.
        Community rating is socialism. The only thing left to the market is how the insurers organize their administration of payments.

    3. See my (and other) comments above regarding the difference between socialist and fascist economies.

      Or don’t, because I know you already know the difference.

      1. I like ProLiberte’s phrase “regulatory socialism”.

        It’s symbolically free market, but it’s so heavily regulated that it’s effectively socialist anyway, since the government is essentially commanding all the decisions.

    4. Come to think of it, I met real communists in China, officials of the CPC.

      Maybe Barry doesn’t think he’s a socialist, but CPC officials are more genuinely capitalist than he is.

      I met quite a few commies in Europe in the ’70s, though, and they were definitely more Red than Barry is.

  26. …he said to laughter from the crowd.

    This is the infuriating part of the story. He shouldn’t be able to publicly show his face without being mocked. Instead, like a bunch of good sycophants, they’ll laugh their fucking heads off at his lame ass jokes.

    1. The only thing funny about him is his goofy giant jug ears.

    2. CEOs. They know what side their bread is buttered on.

    3. Maybe they were laughing at him and not his jokes.

  27. I guess the Democrats could conceivably point to that insane community college professor that’s on the Seattle city council as a bona fide socialist.

    This is the lady that thinks the Boeing workers should seize control of the factory and make things other than planes because production should be based on social use rather than market demand.

    1. Hey not only is Toronto’s mayor a crack smoker but a city councillor was the former head of the Communist Party of Manitoba!

    2. “insane community college professor”

      Redundant.

  28. More great news on the health care front.

    From a Zero Hedge reader:

    My company, based in California, employs 600. We used to insure about 250 of our employees. The rest opted out. The company paid 50% of their premiums for about $750,000/yr.

    Under obamacare, none can opt out without penalty, and the rates are double or triple, depending upon the plan. Our 750k for 250 employees is going to $2 million per year for 600 employees. By mandate, we have to pay 91.5% of the premium or more up from the 50% we used to pay. Our employees share of the premium goes from $7/week for the cheapest plan to $30/week. 95% of my employees were on that plan. Remember, we used to pay 50% now we pay 91.5% and the premiums still go up that much!!

    The cheapest plan now has a deductible of $6350! Before it was $150. Employees making $9 to $10/hr, have to pay $30/wk and have a $6350 deductible!!! What!!!!

    cont.

    1. They can’t afford that to be sure. Obamacare will kill their propensity to seek medical care. More money for less care? How does that help them?

      Here is the craziest part. Employees who qualify for mediCAL (the California version of Medicare), which is most of my employees, will automatically be enrolled in the Federal SNAP program. They cannot opt out. They cannot decline. They will be automatically enrolled in the Federal food stamp program based upon their level of Obamacare qualification. Remember, these people work full time, living in a small town in California. They are not seeking assistance. It all seems like a joke. How can this be the new system?

      Pelosi, pass the bill to find out what’s in it? Surprise! You’ve annihilated the working class.

      Go fuck yourself Tony!

      1. It seems terrible, but this was the best possible outcome. Anything less destructive would have been more raising the temperature on the frog. They have done the worst thing possible for their power-hungry selves; they have massively overreached and will cause the one thing they cannot survive: massive, overwhelming anger from the populace. The only way people were going to react was if they felt actual pain.

        Well, they’re going to. And they’re going to blame those in charge and those who implemented this. And it’s going to be ugly.

        Good.

        1. I was wondering, and still am, how most medical care providers are feeling about this.

          I was in a doctors office this morning for an appointment and they had Fox News on the TV. They were talking about Ocare the entire time I was sitting there and trashing the hell out of the law, and Obama. I noted the office workers and some nurses glancing at the screen occasionally and none of them seemed distraught to me that this thing is going down in flames, in fact they appeared to be smiling at the entire notion.

          1. My doctor hates it. In fact, he was pissed at federal healthcare meddling well before all of this. And I’m pretty sure he’s not a libertarian.

        2. No I agree….this stupidity needed to transform from the theoretical to the tangible….it is as I have said on other threads…Shadentastic!

          I am profoundly grateful that it hasn’t hit me full strength though!

      2. You are telling me that they are forcing people to take SNAP? WTF?

        1. I’m not…I over ran the character limit…the second post was still from Zero Hedge…according to the submitter this set of Obamacare conditions triggers a SNAP enrollment.

    2. $7 * $52 * 250 = $91,000

      This guys math doesn’t add up. The employees premium was $7/wk and the company paid 50% meaning it was also $7/wk but that only comes out to $91k per year not $750k per year

      1. Wasn’t the 750k the total premium cost, not the employees share? He said they were paying 50% of the cost. Also, what is the 250? I thought it was 600 employees?

        1. Wait, you’re right, it was 250. So even then, 50% of a $7 week premium would bring it to 182k total. Something is way off there…

          1. It does say “for the cheapest plan”.

            1. Yeah but for the math to work out you have to assume that the $750k is the total premium not just the employer part and that the average plan premium is 4.5x the cheapest plan. The top plan premium being 4.5x the cheapest would be realistic but employees making $10 an hour are not going to be buying $200+ a month plans en masse which would be required to get the average up that high.

      2. $7 was for the cheapest plan. Of course even at $30, the math doesn’t work out.

  29. Yesterday, President Obama Nixon told an audience at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit that people who think he’s a socialist crook ought to “meet real socialists,… crooks”

    1. He met the real crooks in Chicago.

      1. Met? I thought that was his campaign team.

  30. “”But, no, you gotta meet real socialists. You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is,” he said to laughter from the crowd.””

    Yes…. your donors…. we know.

    1. Even after all of this, they still think of themselves as the smartest, most informed and mentally competent people in America. Yish.

      1. Have you seen the ‘rebuttal from a Gun Guy’ video the NYT put up?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-iHP1lpKw0

        Its pretty good. The “guy” is a ‘good-guy’, liberal prog urbanite….

        …but *at least understands the gun issue* and its legal/ cultural / social legitimacy. The person he’s talking to (Joe Nocera) on the other hand, *can’t conceive* of the idea that any opinion other than his own, which is probably “whatever Obama wanted!”

        The ‘gun guy’ bends over backward to be ‘understanding’ and thoughtful and his heart bleeds and he ‘hates the NRA’ and all this other shit…

        … but then he turns to Joe Nocera and goes, “But you people? You’re WORSE. You don’t even make any sense. You are your own worst enemy.”

        Joe Nocera can’t believe his ears. He’s the most rational and intelligent person he knows! The look of surprise on his face is priceless.

        That’s the thing = the hardcore proggy leftism lives in a bubble, and exposure to reality has a shocking effect. The ACA is a tidal wave of reality smacking them in the face. First stage is denial. I think that’s where we are now.

        1. Thanks for that. That is the first time I have seen it.

  31. so here’s the new ACA slogan then:

    OBAMACARE!(tm)
    Its Not Your Father’s Gulag

    1. But for the kulaks, wreckers, saboteurs, and non-believers, it would work!

      http://www.realclearpolitics.c…..tches.html

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: The last point I’ll make is that in terms of expectation setting, there’s no doubt that in an environment in which we had to fight tooth and nail to get this passed, it ended up being passed on a partisan basis — not for lack of trying, because I met with an awful lot of Republicans to try to get them to go along — but because there was just ideological resistance to the idea of dealing with the uninsured and people with preexisting conditions. There was a price to that, and it was that what was already going to be hard was operating within a very difficult political environment. And we should have anticipated that that would create a rockier rollout than if Democrats and Republicans were both invested in success.

      One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure, and that makes, I think, the kind of iterative process of fixing glitches as they come up and fine-tuning the law more challenging. But I’m optimistic that we can get it fixed.

      1. This is both a lie and the truth simultaneously.

        It’s a lie in that no amount of political opposition doomed a succesful roll-out. They had the resources they said they needed. They had opportunities to adjust their schedules and deployment plans. They chose not to do so. That’s not the Republicans’ doing. It’s like a child dropping a lego set and breaking it because they insisted on doing it themselves and blaming their sibling for making them nervous.

        However, it’s the truth in that in order to deny their opponents legitimacy, they Obama admin lied about what they were doing. And they couldn’t tell the truth, couldn’t make adjustments, because that would mean conceding that their opponents were making legitimate points.

        In Obama’s mind if the Republicans had shown no interest in the law’s rollout, he would have felt free to be more honest, and things wouldn’t have been botched.

        It’s a fascinating example of the childishness with which the Obama administration views the world. My son outgrew this sort of thinking at age 9.

        1. THE REPUBLICANS TOLD EVERYONE THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS AND NOW ALL THE MAGIC IS DEAD

          1. Reality-based community!

      2. One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure

        It looks to me like the White House and Capitol Hill went all-in on a massive failure back in 2009.

      3. Republicans failed to applaud loudly or enthusiastically enough, therefore Tinkerbell died.

        Look, if your policy depends on fervent support from your political opponents, it’s doomed, and you’re a retard for thinking otherwise.

        1. Obamacare is powered by Christmas spirit like Santa’s sled in Elf.

  32. right, like he wouldn’t be a full on retard-strength socialist if the rest of the American political scene didn’t rein him in. Give me a break.

  33. And by the same token, people ought to meet some real Libertarians if they think a person such as Rand Paul, or any Tea Party darling, is one. I’d rather have people damn us for what we ARE than for how poseurs and enemies portray us. And who knows, they may like what they see.

    1. They like Rand Paul more than they like us.

    2. who knows, they may like what they see.

      If people hate Rand Paul for being anti-government than why would they like a libertarian who thinks Rand is too pro-state?

      Makes about as much sense as claiming that libertarians would prefer an actual socialist because they hate Obama.

    3. Out of curiosity, who meets your definition of a “real Libertarian”?

      1. NEVER ASK A REAL LIBERTARIAN THAT

  34. Obama is not a socialist.
    He’s working to have the insurance companies have more customers, funded the wars created by bush, gave a large income tax cut to corporations, and has been the sitting president while stock market hit 16k.

    1. Don’t get me wrong…HE SUCKS !!!

      But he is not a real socialist.

      He caved in REAL QUICK to not having a Public OPTION (basically, an extension of Medicare) for a Market Solution (State Exchanges).

      THis is why he could not keep his promise of “you can keep your insurnace”.

      The original version of Obamacare didn’t have the Exchange.

    2. I recall one English writer in an article in the 70s of a socialist bent observing how things did not go according to how he and other Labourites foresaw their policies leading. Instead of a more equitable society, consumer goods were being made less available for the masses, and vulgar displays of wealth by the upper class were even more common. Mostly, he was describing the Cantillon Effect in action (loose monetary policy to cover the heavy borrowing necessary to pay for a welfare state) though he was likely not familiar with it.

      1. loose monetary policy to cover the heavy borrowing necessary to pay for a welfare state Not a description of the CE, but what made it a huge factor in class stratification in the England of the 60s and 70s.

        1. Of course it wasn’t for Thatcher then Wilson and Callaghan would have turned the UK into a Worker’s Paradise!/Ed Miliband.

    3. Re: Alice Bowie,

      Obama is not a socialist.

      Perhaps you’re right. So far the facts seem to suggest that he’s not a socialist. I mean, his mother was a socialist; his father was a socialist; his step-father was a socialist; his grandparents were both socialists; the mentor that his grandfather brought forth [Frank Marshall Davis] was a socialist; his college professors were all socialists; his friends and colleagues were all socialists; but certainly, there is no reason whatsoever to conclude that Obama is a socialist. None.

    4. He might not be a socialist, but ObamaCare is.

      Remember, it wasn’t written by him. It was written by Ezekiel Emmanuel and a team of progressive health policy wonks.

      The whole goal of the system is to equalize health care costs across society. That’s the whole entire effect. Everyone pays a flat fee for insurance – and everything is covered, including mental health and substance abuse.

      Does it really matter whether the administration of that system is in public or private hands? There is no market left. You are ORDERED to buy health insurance and the insurers are ORDERED to provide a specific product. It’s a command and control system in everything but name.

      1. We’ve had socialist education for centuries and that’s somewhat more invasive into people’s personal liberty than checkups and appendectomies.

        1. And what a rousing success too!

        2. Public education was not introduced until the 19th century. Before that it was all privately financed.

          And when it was introduced it was locally controlled. It was not centrally directed by the federal government. It still largely is locally controlled.

    5. funded the wars created by bush

      Yeah cuz socialists have never funded wars ever.

  35. “my health care reform is based on the private marketplace.”

    Privately owned, but extremely tightly controlled and regulated by the government. He’s right in that it’s not really “socialist.” Fascist would be a more accurate description. Both of his signature healthcare reform and his economic policies more generally.

  36. Obama is a socialist just as much if not more then the socialist of Europe.

    I know this is true because Feeney said the opposite.

    It is always a safe bet to bet against Feeney’s bullshit especially when he is defending Obama.

  37. He’s right, he’s much more of a corporatist than a socialist.

    We don’t call him Il Douche for nothing.

    1. I propose the term “Crony Socialist”

      1. This is the most apt description.

        A “true socialist” as most of us understand it wants to redistribute wealth from the rich to poor. Obama wants to redistribute wealth from his enemies to his friends, regardless of their wealth or status.

        1. A true socialist also believes that the government should own the means of production, and the economy run by central planners absent the price system.

          Obama may believe these things, but his actual policies run much more closely to fascism than anything else.

  38. At least he spared telling us that he’s 94% libertarian.

  39. I can only imagine the genius political philosophy going on here.

    Everyone except anarchists/communists favors a mixed economy. That includes libertarians and Tea Partiers. Everyone. The debate is the composition of the mix. “Socialism” in the US serves only as a mindless pejorative. I say let’s dispose of flawed labels for imprecise parts of a spectrum and all talk about what we do and don’t want government to do, then defend those priorities on how well they accomplish the goal of making life better for people.

    1. Everyone except anarchists/communists favors a mixed economy. That includes libertarians…

      The one time you finally manage to distinguish between anarchy and libertarianism and you still manage to fuck it up.

    2. “mixed economy” is a term invented by socialist to frame themselves as centrists.

      It’s as if the slaveholding south described themselves as a “mixed society” – half slave and half free, and presented themselves as the centrists against the extreme, radical northern states that wanted everyone to be free.

  40. All socialist schemes are based on the private market; that and how much they can loot from it.

    That the fact that Obama doesn’t wave an actual red flag (because not even most of the idiots who voted for him could tolerate such honesty) means he’s not a socialist is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

  41. All socialist schemes are based on the private market; that and how much they can loot from it.

    That the fact that Obama doesn’t wave an actual red flag (because not even most of the idiots who voted for him could tolerate such honesty) means he’s not a socialist is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

  42. Socialist or Fascist by Sowell http://townhall.com/columnists…..page/full/
    ‘What Obama has been pushing for & moving toward, is more insidious than Socialism…’

    There is no treason lite. It either is or isn’t and this poser WILL be spending time behind bars at the very least!

  43. Obama’s comment is a straw man. This clearly is not Socialism. It’s closer to fascism, but it’s not that either. The problem is this is something new and we don’t have the historic perspective to recognize it. And it doesn’t have a name, yet. This is a kind of mutual collusion between private and public that I don’t think has been seen before. Making comparisons to socialism or fascism provides a smoke screen for the truth.

  44. I don’t blame him for laughing it off. What else can he do? He is spearheading changing the rules of the Senate set forth by our Constitution so he can neutralize that body. He’s setting up the DC Court as a buffer to his future actions. He has Constructed an NSA which tracks citizens every move and has us now under the thumb of the only Extra-Constitutional Agency with special powers to punish citizens. He has created a disastrous Insurance program again prosecuted by the IRS! He has written multiple Executive orders to circumvent Congressional Action. He is privately known as the Agency President because he uses them to circumvent Congress. This is a man seething with the desire for solo power. His words say different but, his every action speaks to dictatorial ambition! Will we continue to listen after 5 Years his words of look at his disastrous results?

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