Category Archives: Education

SOCIALISM – PART TWO (CAPITALISM VS. SOCIALISM)

Currently candidate for the Democrat nomination for President of the United States, Bernie Sanders, is an avowed socialist, calling himself a Democratic Socialist. While Senator Sanders will probably lose the nomination to Hillary Clinton, he is currently a viable candidate. As of this writing, he will soon be giving a speech explaining just what a Democrat Socialist is, but in the meantime, the following will contrast Capitalism, our current economic system in the United States with Socialism. As you read this, keep in mind that while we call or economic system capitalism, it is not a purely capitalistic system.

The central arguments in the socialism vs. capitalism debate are about economic equality and the role of government. Socialists believe that economic inequality if bad for society and that the government is responsible for reducing it through programs that benefit the poor such as free public education, free of subsidized healthcare, social security for the elderly, and higher taxes on the rich. In contrast, capitalists believe that the government does not use economic resources as efficiently as private enterprises do, and therefore society is better off with the free market determining economic winners and losers.

As I indicated above the United States is considered a bastion of capitalism. However, large parts of Scandinavia and Western Europe are considered socialist democracies. As you know, though, the United States has a plethora of entitlement programs that allegedly benefit the poor. The U.S. also offers free public elementary and secondary education to its citizens and has implemented a Social Security program to benefit the elderly. Furthermore, its present tax system imposes higher taxes on higher income earners. As such, the United States is not a pure capitalistic society. We currently have a strong private sector and income inequality. Those individuals who work hard and take risks have chances at accumulating more wealth than those who prefer not to take large risks and work less. But for those individuals willing to work harder than normal and take the risks, additional wealth is not guaranteed. Of course, there’s those in between. In a capitalistic society such as what we have in the United States, you get to choose.

The following will outline the differences between capitalism and socialism:

DEFINITION

Capitalism: A theory or system of social organization based around a free market and privatization in which ownership is ascribed to the individual persons. Voluntary co-ownership is also permitted

Socialism: A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of most property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the workers.

PHILOSOPHY

Capitalism: Capital (or the means of production) is owned, operated, and traded in order to generate profits for private owners or shareholders. Emphasis on individual profit rather than on workers or society as a whole. No restriction on who may own capital.

Socialism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce to complement individual wages/salaries.

 

IDEAS

Capitalism: Laissez-faire means to “let it be;” opposed to government intervention in economics because capitalists believe it introduces inefficiencies. A free market produces the best economic outcome for society. Government should not pick winners and losers.

Socialism: All individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods to allow for self-actualization. Large-scale industries are collective efforts and this the returns from these industries must benefit society as a whole.

KEY ELEMENTS

Capitalism: Competition for ownership of capital drives economic activity and creates a price system that determines resource allocation; profits are reinvested in the economy. “Production for profit:” useful goods and services are a byproduct of pursuing profit.

Socialism: Economic activity and production especially are adjusted by the State to meet human needs and economic demands. “Production for use:” useful goods and services are produced specifically for their usefulness.

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Capitalism: Market based economy combined with private or corporate ownership of the means of production. Goods and services are produced to make a profit, and this profit is reinvested into the economy to fuel economic growth.

Socialism: The means of production are owned by public enterprises or cooperatives, and individuals are compensated based on the principle of individual contribution. Production may variously be coordinated through either economic planning or markets.

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Capitalism: Can co-exist with a variety of political systems, including dictatorship, democratic republic, anarchism, and direct democracy. Most capitalists advocate a democratic republic.

Socialism: Can co-exist with different political systems. Most socialists advocate participatory democracy, some (Social Democrats) advocate parliamentary democracy, and Marxist-Leninists advocate “Democratic Centralism.”

PRIVATE PROPERTY

Capitalism: Private property in capital and other goods is the dominant form of property. Public property and state property play a secondary role, and there might also be some collective property in the economy.

Socialism: Two kinds of property: Personal property, such as houses, clothing, etc. owned by the individual. Public property includes factories, and means of production owned by the State but with worker control.

 

OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE

Capitalism: The means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit. This drives incentives for producers to engage in economic activity. Firms can be owned by individuals, worker do-ops, or shareholders.

Socialism: The means of production are socially-owned with the surplus value produced accruing to either all of society (in public ownership models) or to all the employee-members of the enterprise (in Cooperative ownership models.)

SOCIAL STRUCTURE

Capitalism: Classes exist based on their relationship to capital: the capitalists own shares of the means of production and derive their income in that way while the working class is dependent on wages or salaries. Large degree of mobility between the classes.

Socialism: Class distinctions are diminished. Status derived more from political distinctions that class distinctions. Some mobility.

FREE CHOICE

Capitalism: All individuals make decisions for themselves. People will make the best decisions because they must live with the consequences of their actions. Freedom of choice allows consumers to drive the economy.

Socialism: Religion, jobs, and marriage are up to the individual. Compulsory education. Free, equal access to healthcare and education provided through a socialized system funded by taxation. Production decisions driven more by State decision than consumer demand.

The above outline a few of the major differences between capitalism and socialism. Again, pure free market capitalism doesn’t exist on the planet. The United State, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong are strongholds of capitalism.

With Bernie Sanders running for the Democrat nominee for president, front-runner Hillary Clinton has moved far left. Millennials are leaning toward socialism because they see our capitalistic economic system as one that benefits the wealthy. However, younger adults tend to be more idealistic, but tend to change as they mature and are able to view the world from a practical standpoint rather than an academic stand point.

It is my hope that American from the entire political spectrum will read this post and think hard and long about socialism. Is this something you really want because there is a good chance this country, built on the principals of capitalism and a free market will veer toward socialism if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are elected President in 2016.

The contents of this article was mostly provided by diffen.com and your administrator’s personal opinions.

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LIBERALS ACTUALLY THINK THEY’RE PERFECT?

It’s been my observation since studying the habits of the modern liberal that they actually think they’re perfect. Of course, when you point out their imperfections, they are taken aback that you would say such things about them. They say they love the poor, the middle class, and minorities. Furthermore, a liberal that votes Democrat could never be a racist; they actually believe that.

They also think they’re smart and deep thinkers, but they have fallen hook, line, and sinker for the current president’s lies.

I don’t know anyone who lives on earth that is perfect and you don’t either. But liberals do have this haughty attitude about themselves and are quick to judge everyone else, especially calling those who oppose the current president’s policies racists. Even though they are supposed to be open-minded human beings, liberals are quick to accuse and label anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Doesn’t sound very open-minded to me.

Several weeks ago, I indicated that I would call any liberal who said anything negative about Dr. Ben Carson a racist. For nearly seven years, I have had to put up with liberals calling me a racist simply because I didn’t agree with the current president’s policies. You can tell the libs until you’re blue in the face that race has nothing to do with it, you just don’t agree with him politically; but for some reason, they can’t comprehend that and continue to accuse you of racism, sexism, homophobia, hating the poor, and hating minorities.

Several weeks ago, I broke into a thread of comments, most, of which, were attacking Dr. Carson. I called the commenters racists. One commenter called me a “nut case.” When I replied as to why I was calling all liberals who attacked Dr. Carson racists, the thread immediately shut down. I commented, “It’s not as much fun when the shoe’s on the other foot is it? What goes around comes around.”

I had one liberal Facebook friend to tell me that I was just being silly. I replied, “Of course, I’m being silly.” I’m also being intolerant, judgmental, and unreasonable and I’m going to continue to be intolerant, judgmental, and unreasonable. I want to demonstrate to liberals just what they are, and it’s so opposite to what they think they are.

I used to work with a liberal that believed all conservatives were evil. She had been told that by her liberal friends and raised that way. When I explained to her the difference between liberals and conservatives/Democrats and Republicans from a political standpoint, she was incredulous. Up until I explained the differences, she just assumed that conservatives hated minorities, the poor, and the middle class, and wanted to make life as hard for them as possible.

While liberalism promotes a strong, powerful, controlling centralized government, I don’t, for one second, think that grass-roots liberals see themselves as promoters of the government controlling every aspect of our lives. Grass-roots liberals, many of which have public sector jobs, do have anti-business tendencies and think, like their elitist counterparts, that corporations are evil. Grass-roots liberals also seem to be advocates of taxing the rich and generally despise the rich and wish to do them harm. They don’t or maybe they refuse to see that heavily taxing the rich may result in layoffs in the private sector. Layoffs in the private sector results in less tax revenue to the government, from where their paychecks come. Most grass-roots liberals love entitlements and again, think the rich should be taxed heavily to provide funding for these entitlements.

Grass-roots liberals, while not totally against the private sector, want to see extensive regulations in the private sector. However, I’ve been on some threads where it seems that all the commenters are totally against anything in the private sector. And, of course, just mention alternative forms of education to a public school teacher (most are liberals) and you’re sure to get an earful.

In other words, grass-roots liberals think they’re good people because they want to destroy the rich and help the poor through excessive taxation of the rich to fund government programs that help the poor. We all know these government programs usually do more harm than good. They almost always get their news from the mainstream media and believe that issues such as man-made climate change is real because they have never heard the other side.

Here in central Alabama, your grass-roots liberals, composed mainly of public sector workers, school teachers, minorities, plaintiffs’ trial lawyers, and union members, maintain an air of superiority, particularly school teachers and plaintiffs’ trial lawyers. They can be hateful at times, also, accusing conservatives of hating the poor, hating public education, and hating minorities. And yes, these liberals think they’re perfect, particularly those in public education. If you question anything they say or point out facts or statistics that might not support their side, you will be accused of being against education.

With the next tiers of liberals, you get into those who actually know the difference between Democrats and Republicans and believe that government should be all powerful and intrusive. These are the liberals that attend conferences and learn how to attack conservatism. It appears all they know how to do is change the subject and accuse you of hating the poor, hating minorities, desiring an unclean environment, etc. Like grass-roots liberals, it’s nearly impossible to have a discussion with upper tier liberals. They all become emotional, accusatory, and judgmental.

Liberals are the true racists and bigots of our time. They’re not perfect like they think they are and can’t, in their wildest dreams, imaging why anyone would call them racist or bigoted.

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THE WEEK THAT WAS

For those of you who are not aware, I’m an only child. Growing up, I had no siblings to spar with, so I never learned the art of taking up for myself. As a result, all of my life, I’ve allowed people to run over me.

After becoming a conservative blogger and putting myself and my views out there, I was attacked. The first time it happened, I was shook up. The person attacking me was from my hometown and a PhD. It appeared that she didn’t fully read my post. Her attacks were your typical accusations that liberals make to conservatives…”you hate the poor, you hate minorities, etc.” They weren’t even closely related to the topic of my post. I invited her to sit down with me to discuss the issues face to face. Of course, that ended our “back and forth” because “little miss PhD” wouldn’t think of lowering herself to have a face to face with someone who had only a bachelor’s degree.

After the online encounter, I asked myself whether or not I was able to handle this kind of stuff. I decided that if I was going to pursue political blogging with hopes of making some money that I would have to. A little over a year later, I can honestly say that the ridicule directed at me from those on the left doesn’t upset me. It’s part of it.

Last week I found myself trolling on some liberal websites and social media sites. One was a liberal Facebook site that distributed a photo where presidential candidate and governor of Ohio, John Kasich said he thought teachers’ lounges should be eliminated because when spending time in the teachers’ lounge, teachers’ gripe to each other about their work and this griping was not good for their well-being or something to that effect. (I’m not sure exactly what he said, but it was something in-line with the foregoing). On the thread, I indicated that I didn’t agree with the governor. Instead, I though teachers’ lounges should be open 24/7 so the teachers can stay there and grip to their hearts’ content. Then I wouldn’t have to listen to them. I have friends and acquaintances who are public school teachers and most every one of them gripe incessantly about their jobs to the point of often monopolizing conversations and demanding to be the center of attention and wanting sympathy. The point I was trying to make was that everyone has job issues. There are lots of folks out there who are overworked and underpaid. Just like everything else in this world no job is perfect. Public school teachers are not the only ones who have work related problems, but it seems like they do the most griping and, of course, they can’t be bothered to ask a non-teacher in the group how his or her day or week went, or how his or her job is growing.

As you can imagine the other commenters were attaching horns and a tail to me. After that, the comments about how horrible the “poor, poor, pitiful teachers had it while everyone else, especially the Republicans, was eating cake slowed down to a crawl.

Another liberal thread I found myself visiting was from the Robert Reich Facebook fan page. The former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, as you can guess, is a big proponent of the newly proposed overtime regulations. Secretary Reich began his post by saying that Americans are working longer hours than the citizens of almost any other advanced economy. Furthermore, he’s feels that it is bad for our health. He quotes a study that indicates that people who put in long hours at the office are 33% more likely to suffer a stroke than their colleagues who clock out earlier. Even those who work just over 40 hours per week bear a significant increase in stroke risk. The study also indicates that sitting for long periods increases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and early death. (Guess I had better get up and do a couple of minutes on my mini-trampoline).

This post triggered a plethora of responses, obviously from liberals, advocating more over-time pay, more vacation days, shorter work week, etc. In summary, the commenters appeared to want to give as little as possible and have the government provide extensively for them. They want shorter work weeks, more vacation time, increased benefits, and college tuition paid in full for their little darlings. Again, they want to work as little as possible for all this stuff. Who’s going to make up the shortfall? The rich, of course.

I have previously authored three articles indicating why this mandatory overtime is not a good thing and should be examined very carefully. In fact, I believe this will totally and completely destroy the American workplace. To read these articles, do a search on “overtime.”

This time, my posts did stop the whiny comments.

The comments on both of these posts say to me that folks out there expect the government to provide them a perfect job plus meet all of their needs. In accepting these comments, we’re destroying the individualism in which this country was founded on. The founding fathers, through the U.S. Constitution, gave Americans freedom to make choices and succeed as they wished. Success, however, can’t be guaranteed.

Once upon a time, if you had job issues and felt that your job was not providing you with the type of life you desired, you took steps to perhaps change jobs. I know that’s easier said than done, but that’s what normal folks do. In other words, people took responsibility for their situations and took steps to change those situations.

For all the griping school teachers out there, have you ever thought about a career change? Maybe teaching just isn’t for you. Would you be happier in administration or maybe in a private sector job? Since you’re already a teacher, you do have an education. For those of you who have corporate jobs where the bosses are jerks and you’re overworked and underpaid, have you ever thought of looking for something else; in other words, taking charge of your life instead of expecting the government to come along and make things all perfect for you? Update that resume, spend time on the employment websites, work on your interviewing skills, etc.

I realize that there are probably millions of people out there who are stuck in miserable jobs and have very little recourse. I certainly sympathize with those people and wish with all my heart that things weren’t that way for them. But does anyone think that the government is going to come in, implement all these great regulations, and make life idyllic. Trying to gather up every problem out there and solve it is like playing “whack-a-mole.” You hit one of those suckers into the ground and two pop up. It’s just not possible and won’t happen until Jesus returns to earth and sets up his 1000 year reign.

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ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS, SOMETHING WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT

Depending on whose reading this post, I may ruffle some feathers, but I don’t care. I guess Donald Trump has emboldened me to say what I think, no holds barred, and no apologizes. So, here goes.

Day before Yesterday a story surfaced that Ohio Governor and Republican candidate for President, John Kasich wants to abolish teachers’ lounges. His reasoning is that teachers won’t have a place to go and talk about their problems.

Well, I totally disagree with Governor Kasich, I think teachers’ lounges should be expanded and open 24/7, so they can gripe till their heart’s content. That way, I don’t have to listen to them. I know several public school teachers and I have never heard one of them say that they liked their job. All they do is gripe about how hard they have to work, how they’re underpaid, etc.

In my career, there have been times when I was underpaid. I’ve always had to work hard and throughout a good portion of my career to date, it was normal to work Monday through Saturday and a half-day on Sunday. Of course, now that I’m a small business owner, there’s no such thing as being off. When I’m not eating, sleeping, or doing necessary personal stuff such as grocery shopping and getting my nails and hair done, I’m working. I might have expressed some occasional frustration at having to work so much, but I know I didn’t continually complain like most school teachers do about having to work hard. If I was with one or more school teachers, there was no way anyone but them could complain because they monopolized the conversation with their gripes. No one else could get a work in edgewise.

One time, I was having lunch with a group of people. This was shortly after a new school year had begun. Someone asked the teacher at the table how school was. We then had to hear a litany of how hard she was having to work and how budget cuts had affected the classroom and she was having to use her own money to buy supplies. H-E-L-L-O! I was in a job for about ten years where I had to spend from $500 to $1,000 of my own money yearly for supplies, reference materials, and continuing education. I traveled extensively during this period, and because the company was so cheap, I often times didn’t turn in certain expenses. I almost never turned in tips. If I decided to go to a nice restaurant for a nice dinner, I wouldn’t turn in the full amount. I never quite had enough, though, to deduct on my tax return.

They gripe about being underpaid. Well, it’s not exactly breaking news that school teachers’ salaries are not generous. You knew that when you went into the profession. They grip about being underfunded. Well, I have news for them. A lot of budgets out there, not just education budgets are skimpy. They gripe about having to spend their own money in the classroom. Well, so do I. See my above comments.

Years ago, when I was very underpaid, I told a teacher that I did make a little more money than she did, but it was just that, a little more. And it was. I worked an average of 55 to 60 hours a week, received ten vacation days and seven holidays.

Furthermore, after five or so years, most teachers have what is called “tenure.” In other words, they can’t be let go from their job except for certain types of mis-conduct and then it’s a big thing. In the private sector, one can be let go at the drop of a hat and the company, in most states, is not required to give you a reason. I will clarify by saying that firing someone and not giving them a reason why they were fired is rare. A company doing this on a regular basis is sure to get a reputation and will not attract the best and the brightest people.

A school teacher friend and I were driving back from the beach one Sunday afternoon in the summer and this school teacher friend said to me, “Nancy, you have a perfect job, don’t you?” I let it all out in about a thirty minute diatribe. This poor teacher was cowering and said, “I had no idea, because you never talk about work.”

“That’s right,” I said. “I keep my professional and private lives separate. When I’m away from the job, I really don’t want to be reminded of it. I want to forget about my problems at work. I have no desire to gripe about my job to friends.” After this, she was careful about griping about her job, especially in front of me. But, you could tell that she wanted to.

I had one school teacher friend tell me that she would like to have a job where she didn’t have to take work home. This was in the early nineties, before logging in and working from home because common place. I promptly told her that while I can’t bring company documents home and work on them, it was rare for me to leave work at quitting time. And most weekends, unless I had something else to do, I was in the office working.

One teacher friend of mine replied “well it must be nice” when I took a day, a day of vacation in September after she had just started back to school after summer break. I was very busy that year and was doing a lot of very stressful business travel. I also purchased my house that year and was studying hard to get a professional certification. Up until that September day of vacation, I had only taken two days of vacation and that was to deal with purchasing the house and moving. So that one measly day of vacation was the first I had taken all year where I actually relaxed and did some stuff for me. This particular teacher had just returned to work after having two months off and she makes a smart-ass comment about me taking a day of vacation. Sheesh.
Yeah, I’ve unloaded on school teachers. And while I do acknowledge that they face difficulties in their professions, the rest of us do also. No school teacher I’ve known has ever asked me how my day was, how my week was, or how my job was going. However, they insist on monopolizing every conversation with their griping. Then they wonder why folks don’t like them.

It looks as though Governor Kasich’s comments may be soon forgotten about. Of course, the teachers’ unions won’t forget about them. Like I said, I don’t agree with Governor Kasich. I think they ought to be expanded where hopefully the teachers will stay in them and gripe till they can’t gripe any more, if that’s possible.

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LIBERAL FACEBOOK SIGHT THAT’S WRONG MOST OF THE TIME

As you know, I do have a number of liberal friends and they often post on Facebook. A large number of their posts seem to be ones they have shared from a Facebook site called “Occupy Democrats.” I’ve found that most posts from that sight, I can easily rip apart.

One photograph from Occupy Democrats that was shared by a liberal Facebook friend yesterday afternoon read as follows: “The moment when after years of Fox News mocking your noble efforts to help kids eat healthier and be more active, early childhood obesity rates drop by 43%.

First of all, I do watch Fox News much of the time and I really don’t recall much being said about the current First Lady’s childhood obesity initiative. There have been concerns expressed regarding the school lunches and school snacks that are being provided to students. High school students participating in athletics, marching band, dance, etc. may not be getting enough calories during the school day to allow them to perform at their best. Also, much of this “healthy food” is being thrown in the garbage at lunch and students are then consuming high fat/high calorie foods after school.

This photo posted by Occupy Democrats indicates that early childhood obesity rates have dropped by 43%. This includes the two to five age group, not school-age children. Even though the photo give the current first lady all the credit for this, it’s just another misleading post by Occupy Democrats.

My initial research took me to an article on Slate.com, a left-wing website. In an article dated February 28, 2014, yes, 2014, entitled “The Obesity Rate for Children has not plummeted,” discussed a New York Times article that trumpeted this substantial decrease in early childhood obesity. The author of the Slate article, Razib Kahn, drilled down further into the matter and discovered the source from which the Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and CNN drew these findings was the Journal of the American Medical Association. The Journal’s conclusions indicated that “overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. When evaluating the total sample across age groups, rather than just two to five year olds, there hasn’t been any change at all. Slate even belittles the 43% finding indicating random sampling will result in a few outlier findings.

This posting by Occupy Democrats was based on early 2014 articles and we’re half way through 2015. Then it gives the current first lady full credit for the percentage drop. The first lady’s focus has been on healthier school lunches and increased amounts of exercise which would pertain more to children older than five. Furthermore, the study goes back to 2003, five years before the current first lady moved into the White House.

If indeed childhood obesity has dropped in the two to five year old category, it’s the parents and others who are close to the children who have made this happen. Studies have shown that obese children do have problems. In addition to being shunned by other children, they will forever have a hard time controlling their weight, thereby subjecting them to ill health as they journey through adulthood. Modern parents are more aware of this and are less like to allow their young child to become obese. Also, there was talk early on in the Obama presidency of considering obese children as victims of child abuse and subject to being removed from the home. I think this may have scared a lot of new parents.

In summary, this posting by the Facebook page, Occupy Democrats, is wrong and confusing, along with many of their other posts. Fortunately, most of the posts can be ripped apart or refuted with a small amount of research.

One such post on their Facebook site stated, “Why is it, that after 239 years we still have trouble with ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL? If it wasn’t for you liberals separating everyone in groups, condoning bad behavior by certain groups, belittling other groups, maybe we wouldn’t have so much trouble.

A link posted on their website goes to an article indicating that the current President is sick of the U.S. lagging behind in employee leave policies. I didn’t read the linked article, but it should be up to employers to determine vacation, sick leave and other time off policies. Could it possibly be that the reason we’re the richest country on the planet is that Americans work?

Of course, there’s always posts demonizing the Koch Brothers for one thing or another. Of course, nothing is said about that awful George Soros.

Like all of those on the left, the Occupy Democrats Facebook site is intolerant. It goes without saying that the administrators despise Christians and conservatives, and they probably despise southerners, also. Only their opinions count. So, if you’re proud of the confederate flag, you are racist filth because we say so.

Why am I singling out “Occupy Democrats” when they’re no different than other democrat/liberal/progressive media? I guess I see more “Occupy Democrats” shares from liberal Facebook friends who, of course, could never be bothered to check something before they share it. But let me get in a hurry and share something that I didn’t check, my liberal Facebook friends waste no time in pointing it out to me.

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