Saturday, October 23, 2010

American Socialism rising

Newsweek, in their article We Are All Socialists Now, explains how ironic it is that the Bush years paved the way for an American socialist revolution ... and that the fear mongering that pervaded Republican rhetoric during the last election, where the word 'socialist' was thrown around like it was to be feared, made people seriously look into socialism as an alternative to the corporation-run duopoly that currently exists, which lacks transparency and efficiency.

According to alternet, Thomas Geoghegan points out in
Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?:

Germans have six weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, and nursing care. But you’ve heard the arguments for years about how those wussy Europeans can’t compete in a global economy. You’ve heard that so many times, you might believe it. But like so many things, the media repeats endlessly, it’s just not true.

Since 2003, it’s not China but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has either led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first. Even as we in the United States fall more deeply into the clutches of our foreign creditors — China foremost among them — Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.

The most mindboggling thing about Germany's exports is not the six week mandated vacation that every worker gets: it's outcompeting China! China is the largest country on Earth, with 1.3 billion people, whereas Germany is about the size of a large state of the U.S. One out of every five human beings is Chinese. That's how efficiently the German economy is being run.

It would be refreshing to have multi-party elections again in the US, and to finally have a truly liberal party representing liberal concerns in Washington. The Democratic party, like Bill Maher and Michael Moore have repeatedly claimed, is centrist. It does not truly speak for a liberal base, which has been powerless in American politics for way too long.

It would be refreshing if corporations were unable to purchase the politicians, if we had people in positions of power that were able to truly curb corporate control of our country, which in effect annuls democracy. What is the use of voting for my favorite candidate if the pharmaceutical industry, or worse yet Monsanto, are able to pay millions to get laws passed that are detrimental to the consumer, and to public health?

The anti-capitalist values of socialists would bring a new set of checks and balances that is sorely needed in the US. If we had a robust, vocal socialist party as part of the public discourse in American politics, the public in general and especially the consumers would be better educated about the corporations that keep the US from progressing, that keep the health of Americans poor, and that keep people sick ... because socialist leaders would create awareness about the roots of diabetes, obesity, cancer and many other health problems that arise from having powerful food and pharmaceutical industries whose lobbyists push for laws and regulations that are anti-consumer.

But for as long as only money speaks in DC, the consumer will be voiceless.

No comments: