Thursday, February 19, 2009

OMG! Socialism! Or, so say those who don't know what words mean.

With the recent passing of the federal stimulus bill, I've been seeing people going "OMG! Socialism!"

According to these people, when the government gives money to industry, or with the intentions of specifically employing people - that's socialism.

The only thing that I can think of is that these people have no idea what "socialism" actually is.

Let's get this part of out of the way: socialism is where no individual owns - anything. Everything is owned by the government. Every business, every bank, every factory - owned by the government, and it's operation is decided by the government.

What socialism is *not*: building roads. Employing cops and firemen. Encouraging specific businesses. If you really think that when government lays a tax on, say, cigarettes, it's not because OMG SOCIALISM!

They're doing what every government does, especially one like the Unites States, which could be labeled a "republic based government with representation by democratically elected leaders, which uses a blend of controls on business to both promote market forces and individual freedom/wealth and citizen freedoms and safety".

When the government uses the power of the FDA to shut down a peanut butter plant that makes peanut butter that kills people, that is not socialism.

When government decides to build roads to promote business, it's not socialism - last time I checked, the government didn't own the businesses it was trying to promote, just the roads.

Yes, sometimes that government "winners and losers". Even when it nationalized banks during the Savings and Loan scandals during the 80's - this is where it went into banks, determined if they were liquid (aka - did they have enough assets to meet their liabilities), they didn't just "own" everything. They would shut down the bank, sell all of the assets to meet the banks liabilities (aka - people's checking/savings accounts), use government funds to fill in the gaps, and send the original investors packing to form a new bank if they so desired.

Did the government take control of "all banks"? Nope. They just shut down the ones that were failing to meet their legal obligations.

Call it government intervention, call it wasteful - but please, people, can we stop with the OMG! SOCIALISM! charges? Because every time you make it, all that it shows it just how ignorant you are.

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