Check it out:
Parry: This is an administration hellbent on taking America toward a socialist country, and we ought not to be afraid to say that.
No one should be afraid to criticize the government. But Parry would do better to offer substantive criticisms of Obama’s policies instead of giving us Bermuda Triangle-silliness.
Socialism is a broad concept, so it’s rarely clear what conservatives are even talking about when they complain about the socialist nightmare Obama is supposed to bring. From Britannica:
social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.
This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed. Socialists complain that capitalism necessarily leads to unfair and exploitative concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who emerge victorious from free-market competition—people who then use their wealth and power to reinforce their dominance in society. . .
What about the banks? And GM?
It’s true the government now owns a majority stock in GM, but the point was to salvage a major employer and protect the country’s economy. Look at this chart:
(From The Atlantic.)
It ain’t quite time to put a hammer and sickle (☭) on the American flag.
According to CIA World Factbook:
The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $46,900. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace.
* * *
The global economic downturn, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, investment bank failures, falling home prices, and tight credit pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and other industrial corporations. In January 2009 the US Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus – two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts – to create jobs and to help the economy recover.
It’s reasonable to debate the wisdom of TARP and the GM bailout. But it’s unreasonable to claim Obama is “hellbent” on turning the United States into a “socialist country.” I.e., the wisdom of the government’s economic actions in 2009 is open to debate, but not the motivation. The motivation was to stabilize the economy, & protect and create jobs.
From the State Department’s Outline of the U.S. Economy:
The United States was established on the mutually reinforcing principles of individual enterprise and limited governmental influence. The rage of the American colonists over a range of taxes imposed by the British Crown helped trigger the Revolutionary War in 1775. “Taxation Without Representation” was a battle cry. The new republic’s first secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, succeeded in establishing a national bank but lost his campaign for a federal industrial policy in which government would promote strategically important industries to strengthen the nation’s economy and its military defense.
But this predisposition toward free enterprise was not absolute. From the beginning, the country’s governments—federal, state, and local—have protected, regulated, and channeled the economy. Governments have intervened to aid the interests of regions, individuals, and particular industries. Just how far the government should go in doing this always has been a central political issue.