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Just a Tech Guy

Socialist or Capitalist? (If you had to choose no gray area or middle ground)

so·cial·ism   (sō’shə-lĭz’əm) -noun

  1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
  2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

 

cap⋅i⋅tal⋅ism /ˈkæpɪtlˌɪzəm/ -noun

an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

 

If you had to choose one side or the other, which side would you fall on? I’ve listed the true definitions per (Dictionary.com) to give you the true meaning but some people prefer examples. These examples are some of the things that are currently being proposed or discussed in the news.

Social Security – We pay for someone else’s benefits and expect someone else to pay for ours at some point. (Socialism)

– A Capitalist would say, let me save up and earn my own interest. Let me reap the benefits of my money sitting in a bank and use it to live a lifestyle that matches what I’ve invested my entire life for. The problem is Americans in general have NO discipline. We dig ourselves into a rut of debt and don’t save enough for an emergency much less enough to live 10/20/+ years on when we cannot be gainfully employed any longer. A Capitalist would say, “You snooze, you lose.” A Socialist would expect the government or the community to bail them out of their own irresponsibility. Personally I think that if a person cannot pay for themselves down the road, then it should be their family’s duty, or their church’s duty or even a voluntary community fundraising effort not a government issued program forced on persons that don’t feel it is fair or warranted. Once again we reward irresponsibility.

Federal Regulations of Banks – The government is in charge of financial institutions and eliminate massive profiteering from private Banks. (Sounds like a good thing right?)  (Socialism)

– This eliminates competition and competitive pricing driving the costs up to whatever the government sees fit. Look at any current program that the government started to ‘help us’ and eventually turned into a money making function to help recuperate their massive financial losses due to their inability to manage their own finances. Our government can’t even balance it’s budget and hasn’t  been able to for decades. What makes you think that they can do it with YOUR money. (Not the money that WAS yours that you owe in taxes, which is technically theirs, but YOUR current monies.)

Nationalized Healthcare – The government regulates healthcare for all persons. All persons get the same basic healthcare no matter their statuses and/or income. (Socialism)

– We are one of the last great industrialized countries without Nationalized Healthcare. It gets shot down by anyone that brings it up. This is one of the few Socialistic practices that I can say I’d probably get behind. So long as they offered a optional healthcare position for persons that wanted extra coverage and are willing to pay out of their own pockets for the upgrade. Government regulation would take the pharmaceutical companies and force them to lower their extreme prices. This would put more medication in the hands of those who normally would not have the option for it. I say that as a Capitalist agreeing that these companies are abusing the system and have no consciences.

– The downside to all of this is we are all paying into a system that gives equal healthcare to persons that choose not to take care of themselves in a manner you may believe should be necessary. People who choose to smoke or drink or even kill themselves with hard drugs still get the same healthcare as someone that tries their best to take care of themselves. We pay once again for someone else’s extra costs due to their irresponsibility.

Based on these few major items, where do you fall? There is no wrong answer. Each side has it’s good and bad points. Personally I’m a Capitalist and although I may not agree with a 100% Capitalistic message, if I had to choose I would choose that side of the line. I am a firm believer in helping each other out as a society but I believe it perpetuates laziness and welfare cases. I am a firm believer in the old “You should work for what you get.” doctrine. I also believe that Capitalism drives ingenuity and creativity. “Why should I invent something new or try to derive new ideas if I won’t profit from it. Why should I work hard at contributing something new if everyone else benefits if I succeed but no one loses but me if I fall?”

– Jason

The Chicago Tea Party and how the responsible Americans are getting left out. (part I)

We cannot all be happy but for those of you who are not following this stimulus package and its finer print here is one part of it that is kindly helping some of the irresponsible and letting the rest of us know that we’re not appreciated for doing the right thing all along.

• Helping Hard-Pressed Homeowners Stay in their Homes: This initiative is intended to reach millions of responsible homeowners who are struggling to afford their mortgage payments because of the current recession, yet cannot sell their homes because prices have fallen so significantly. Millions of hard-working families have seen their mortgage payments rise to 40 or even 50 percent of their monthly income – particularly those who received subprime and exotic loans with exploding terms and hidden fees.

That is directly from the executive summary of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. While that does help those that have lost income due to the recession it also bails out millions of people who knowingly ‘bought too much house’ for what they could afford.

While the rest of us (say 5 years ago) bought a home with a loan knowing exactly what we could afford currently and for years to come, some people decided to jump into loans that they willingly knew would balloon up over time in hopes that their salaries or incomes would change. That was their own stupidity. Their problems now aren’t that they lost income but the piper has come for his payment that they agreed to in the beginning and they can’t afford it. This happened on such a grand scale that the foreclosures across America have exploded over the last several years and are partially to blame for the current recession. Yet now, they are getting bailed out by the government. Uncle Sam is rewarding bad behavior and is encouraging it going forward. As you will be able to see in the links I will post below, the man speaking mentions his disdain for having (through being a tax payer) having to assist bailing out his neighbor who has a better house (“extra bathroom”) when he himself was responsible enough to make a solid decision in the beginning himself knowing he could only afford ‘X amount of home.”It is time for the government to assist those who will be able to one day help carry the water instead of drink it”.

(Example) Take two people. (Person A and Person B) Both persons make $50,000 a year and both decide to purchase a home.

– Person A shops around and decides to take a 30 year loan at a fixed rate of 6.5% (not a great rate but decent and steady.) He purchases a $150,000 home. He knows that 5, 10, 15 years from now his mortgage payment will continue to be the same thing. Something he could afford now and easy to assume later.

– Person B finds a subprime lender offering a 3.9% loan but the loan is an ARM (Adjustable Rate) and every 3 years it can (and probably will) be bumped up a percent or two. Because they have a low rate they decide to buy ‘more house’. They decide to buy a $230,000 home for the same monthly payment as person A (because the the percentage rate is so much lower). That person has to assume that their income will increase by a certain amount over the next 3-6 years in order to be able to afford this house.

6 years later, person A is paying the same amount and had his income increased over the years could possibly be able to make additional payments to reduce his principle. Person B now pays $300 more a month for his mortgage because his ARM has adjusted by 4% over the last 6 years. He hasn’t had a great income increase from his employer and is barely making ends meet as it is.

Person A is ok. Person B made a bad decision and is in danger of foreclosure.

Here is where Uncle Sam swoops in to save the day. U.S. encourages person B’s bank to drop his % rate back down to 4.75 in order to prevent his foreclosure. He gets to keep his lavish home and gets a lower % rate than person A who was responsible in the first place.

Person A (through increased taxes) has to help repay that multi-billion dollar aid package to Uncle Sam so indirectly he is bailing out his irresponsible neighbor.

And that my friends is how we the responsible are getting screwed.

This concludes part I of my rant about the government bailout of the irresponsible. More to come. In the mean time, check out The Chicago Tea Party.

– Jason

Please tell me how you feel about all of this.

Restating My Stance (in a more appropriate manner)

For those of you who’ve read my article on the smoking ban that was proposed here in N.C. I ranted in ways that seemed a lot like a smoker just belly-aching about his rights. Let me correct your interpretations.

I have a right to smoke. I however, ONLY have a right to smoke where I am invited to. I am currently ‘invited’ (by the owners of such) to smoke in most bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. I have no problems with any establishment in which the OWNERS refuse smoking sections. I will also agree that the silly dividers that are put up in most places are a joke when it comes to dividing the smoking and non-smoking sections. This right I have to smoke is a lot like my right to carry my pistol concealed. I currently am allowed to carry it concealed anywhere the ‘owner’ allows me. The Federal and State Governments do not allow me to carry on their properties. Nor does any establishment in which the owner posts a sign that forbids concealed carry. I respect that as well.

My biggest issue is not whether or not I am allowed to smoke here or there. My biggest issue is the government telling the true owners of ANY establishment if they can or cannot allow certain persons in there or certain LEGAL activities on the premises. Until smoking is considered illegal, the government should have no say over the private sector.

The owner of an establishment should decide whom he/she wishes to alienate more, the smokers or the non smokers.

McDonalds, Burger King, and other food chains banned smoking in their establishments years ago. I’ve never had a problem with that. It doesn’t bother me because they chose as a corporation to take that stance on smoking. Uncle Sam or Uncle State can bug off. If restaurant (A) decides to allow smokers they may lose the business of the non smokers, if they choose to ban smoking, they may lose the business of the smokers. Simple politics right?

When it comes to governments everything starts small. They take this and that away and tell you its bad. Then they move to something else that is less ‘evil’ but disliked by most. Then they ban something disliked by only some. Pretty soon over the years you are allowing them to dictate what THEY want you to do and not do. Freedom? You will not take it from a lot of Americans willingly. Yet the masses are blinded by their personal preferences. They don’t see it as a loss of liberty they see it as an issue between smokers vs. non-smokers, not the Gov. vs. citizens making their own choices (owners). People I ask you to step back from the forest and look at the trees for what they are. One day, it may be something you consider a personal right that is taken away. All because you gave the big Uncles momentum.