Friday, May 29, 2009

Obama A Communist? The Dirt on American Socialism

A gripping title: but this is old news now...

Here's an article from Business Week entitled: Socialism? Hardly, Say Socialists.

I agree with all the people interviewed by the author in believing that Obama is not a socialist, let alone a communist, as many US citizens believe. I also agree with many news items that call for increased controls on a capitalist system that has not served everyone in society well.

More importantly, I think this is a time when introspection on the current system is essential. Across the world we should look at how society provides for us. I know that the US is the land of opportunity. Many stories exist about rags to riches journeys. A capitalist system allows these to happen. The problem is only the success stories reach our ears.

I was in a square in Mexico with two US citizens. One, the older, proclaimed paternally to the younger one that he should find a well-paying job and save for himself and his family. The reason: no one was going to take care of him down the road. I couldn't believe the fundamental difference in philosophies that I had to this man. That's obviously an extreme, however, it makes a point. Self-sufficiency breeds big winners...but also leaves the 'battlefield' strewn with losers.

Looking at the system that I know best, I see that there are safety nets in place. I work in the healthcare system that provides care to all. I meet people who are caught by the safety nets of Worker's Compensation Boards and Employment Insurance. I can say that these supports exist, but I don't have the information to say that they are efficient uses of their budgets. I'm sure that would be the argument of nay-sayers. Private enterprise is always more efficient.

So, it would be interesting to find a way to allow people from different systems to talk about what works and what doesn't in social programs and economic regulations. Kind of like a Dr. everyone for society?

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