Majority of young Americans distrust capitalism, embrace socialism

Filed in National by on August 15, 2018

Capitalism has spent the last 30 years eating its own shit and bathing in its own piss. Can you blame American youths for saying, “Ew…Gross” ?

Who likes socialism and mistrust capitalism? Democrats and young people, who are mostly the same people.

The latest Gallup poll has 57% of Democrats in favor of socialism and 47% trusting capitalism (16% of Republicans also like socialism!); 51% of 18-to-29 year olds trust socialism and 45% of the same cohort trust capitalism.

Capitalism’s brand is way, way down, declining sharply among young people and Democrats (its up among Republicans, but Republicans are a dwindling and aging group of people — one percenters, bootlickers, and temporarily embarrassed millionaires).

Belief in capitalism climbs at age 30, to 58%, and it’s 60% for over-50s (don’t trust anyone over 30, I guess?).

Meanwhile, belief in “free enterprise” for all Americans is down six percentage points since 2016.

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (118)

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  1. RE Vanella says:

    “Capitalists behave like capitalists wherever they are. They pursue the expansion of value through exploitation without regard to the social consequences.”

    —Prof. David Harvey, Crisis In The Space Economy Of Capitalism, p. 424

    David Harvey
    Richard Wolff
    Adolf Reed
    Bill Fletcher Jr

    Read up, folks. We’re doing this.

  2. bamboozer says:

    It’s sinking in that you can work like a dog, get education and still live paycheck to paycheck in America. Equally obvious is that the deck is stacked for the rich and powerful who are gaining ever more power, notice Carper and Coons fear us not with their corporate owners behind them. We are on the cusp of a new age in America if I’m correct, and democratic socialism is a good fit, raw unadulterated capitalism is not. Unless you really do like misery.

  3. Bane says:

    I mean, these young people also invented eating Tidepods… so, may want to wait until they hit 30 to start taking them seriously

  4. “It takes a village of millennials to invent Tidepod eating.”

    I like it.

    • Bane says:

      Don’t put that on the millennials. They invented Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Gen Z invented eating tidepods on all of those platforms.

  5. The ‘Tidepods’ is much catchier than Gen Z. Let’s all make it happen.

  6. Dave says:

    So the majority of young Americans embrace any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

    Words have meaning. When older Americans see the word “socialism,” that’s what it means to them. When people have trouble identifying the United States on a map, you can understand why I might question their comprehension of socialism.

    “When young people think about socialism, or hear that term, the first thing they think about are Scandinavian countries, like Sweden and Norway, where people seem to be quite happy and people seem to be pretty well-supported,” she noted.
    But the idea of those Western European nations, with their heavily subsidized health care and college tuition, isn’t the same for their parents.
    “Older generations thought straight to the Soviet Union, where things were really tough and the idea of socialism wasn’t really about raising the bottom,” said Kawashima-Ginsberg. (https://www.npr.org/2015/11/21/456676215/why-do-young-people-like-socialism-more-than-older-people).

    “Yet millennials tend to reject the actual definition of socialism — government ownership of the means of production, or government running businesses. Only 32 percent of millennials favor “an economy managed by the government,” while, similar to older generations, 64 percent prefer a free-market economy.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2016/03/24/millennials-like-socialism-until-they-get-jobs/)

    I reject socialism, based on the definition I was taught. If you create another definition of socialism and want people to accept it, you have to overcome the original definition. A new word would be better, but apparently there are no more new words in the English language and all we can do is repurpose old words.

    The trouble is what you are selling is not socialism, but something else for which you have no name. It would be an easier sell if you did have one. Many of you won’t see that as a problem, but the data, says otherwise.

    And that’s why you have people who love socialism, but reject government ownership of the means of production. People like me say “huh”?

  7. Jason340 says:

    ….Or you could just grow up. To willfully associate with the octogenarian definition is a choice you are making.

  8. bamboozer says:

    Notice young Dave goes straight to that old favorite “collective or government ownership” even though that has never been a part of Democratic Socialism and was abandoned by true Socialists many years ago. The Republican response will be to continue to demonize Socialism and to attempt to convince the very people that it will help the most to vote against it. But it’s a new dawn, the old fools pass on and the young are not as stupid as many of the Boomers. Suggest Dave do up a Tide Pod in revenge.

  9. Alby says:

    Dave might be old but he’s no fool. He’s simply pointing out the reason older people who generally agree with the Bernie agenda recoil from the socialism label. He is wrong about there being no name for it — democratic socialism is the actual, if cumbersome, name that’s widely used in the rest of the world. Of course, single-payer health insurance is widely used in the rest of the world, too, without making any headway here.

    As bamboozer points out, equating socialism with the Soviets is outdated information, but Dave’s point is that most old people aren’t going to bother keeping up with the changing world. They still think CCCP whenever they hear the word.

  10. jason330 says:

    Yeah…I was going to mention that his gripe (and the gripe of his octogenarian, Fox News loving fellow travelers) is against soviet communism.

  11. RE Vanella says:

    It’s democratic ownership not government ownership. Workers collectives, etc. see also Elizabeth Warren’s interim step of 40% of corporate boards elected by workers. A good example is the Marcora Law in Italy.

    What you were taught was propaganda to support a manufactured “Cold War” against the “commies”. So I question YOUR understanding of socialism. How about that!

    All I can imagine is Dave saying “huh?” all the time. Poor guy.

    I provided a fine list of Marxist and Socialist scholars for you, Dave. It’s time to brush up.

  12. RE Vanella says:

    What if I were to argue that private/capital/corporate ownership of the means of production is totalitarian, authoritarian and undemocratic?

    That would be absolutely correct, of course. But somehow (via Cold War indoctrination) that’s “American” and democratic ownership is “Soviet”.

    Are you starting to see your error?

  13. RE Vanella says:

    Dave’s afraid of the Gulag. I get it. 🙂

  14. RE Vanella says:

    But it is also addressing the material needs of people. Health care, security in housing and retirement, financial safety from unemployment, etc.

    The fact that it wasn’t taught this way in 1960 is something to consider and address for sure. But We don’t need to change the definition. We need to explain why what you were taught was political propaganda.

  15. Alby says:

    Given current mortality rates, in 10 years the problem being described, which is basically the inflexible opinions of old people, will solve itself. It always does.

    We always talk about changes in opinion over time as if people changed their minds. The more obvious cause is that a bunch of new adults replaced the ones who died.

  16. nathan arizona says:

    Just wondering, what “socialist” governments do you consider to have been effective? I’ll grant you the Scandinavian model, which seems to work pretty well and does seem better that the system western capitalism has devolved into. The USSR was a socialist system and disastrous all around. Why are “young people” being praised for not knowing enough history to understand this? What if they suddenly decide to google the (at least “mixed”) history of socialist governments? Why are you so resistant to exploring labels that might actually help the left succeed? Is it just exciting to throw the term “socialist” around?

  17. Alby says:

    Because exploring labels is work for centrists. Get to it.

  18. jason330 says:

    ” Is it just exciting to throw the term “socialist” around?”

    Yeah, that’s it. Its groovey, Man! Solid!

    PS – The USSR was NOT a socialist system, but I can’t have that debate again with out access to a dorm room, some decent weed and an unspoken for 24 hours.

  19. RE Vanella says:

    The idea that the USSR was disastrous “all around” is another little piece of propaganda. I reject the premise.

    The first thing I usually do is argue that our system isn’t exactly “a great success” either. Hence the situation we’re in.

    There’s a lot to admire from Cuba. For example, they have better health care outcomes than we do by quite a margin. Of course our decades long total economic embargo hurt Cuba far more than “socialism” ever could.

    The cooperatives in Chiapas, Mexico have been very successful. And the aforementioned Marcora co-op law in Italy. On top of the Scandinavian model.

    Maybe dial back your sniveling condescending bullshit… “is it just cool to use the word now”. I think you know that’s patronizing garbage. Especially since I’ve been on this tip for 10-15 years.

    I listed 4 or 5 intellectuals to read if you’re interested. The entire frame of your question sounds a lot like Dave. No awareness outside “what we’re taught”.

    • Sam says:

      I just came back from Cuba. We had to bring our own toilet paper everywhere we went. You should travel more before you have this conversation.

      • RE Vanella says:

        Again, for the last time. Is that a consequence of Cuba socialism or US/capital interference?

        I’ve been all over the word, little guy. But I read and think about things. That’s the difference.

        • Sam says:

          I just think that your better argument is in favor of European socialism rather than attempting to put Venezuela and Cuba on a pedestal. But go back to name calling… its a very useful tactic.

          • RE Vanella says:

            Sure. But I can note the successes of Cuba and Venezuela and also note what the challenges really are and face up to the shit that didn’t work. I’m equipped to do all of it.

            Chuckle-heads dolts will always yell Venezuela or talk about how they needed to bring their own toilet paper to Cuba. We need to be able to address those claims.

            Obviously the Nordic model is the easiest to exemplify and I know enough details to discuss those too. But opponents generally shy away from that because they are so successful.

            Tactics are irrelevant to trolls anyway. So for them, they get the treatment. If you want to discuss Denmark or Australia or the USSR we can do that.

      • Tom Kline says:

        I was also there recently too. These people don’t know what socialism really looks like. Nor do they know what the poor look like outside the US.

        • RE Vanella says:

          Large adult son can’t follow the plot!

        • Alby says:

          Ever been to Puerto Rico? The Dominican Republic? Poverty in the Caribbean is not limited to its one socialistic government. The capitalistic ones — the ones exploited by capitalism, that is — leave most of their citizens in worse conditions than Cubans.

  20. RE Vanella says:

    Also remember, the factions trying to destroy leftist policies in say Venezuela and Brazil are corporate capital interests backed by the CIA. So let’s not pretend that the “failures” of leftist reforms in Central and South America is some inherent flaw in “socialism”.

    How many people did Lula lift out of poverty in Brazil? How did he do this?

  21. RE Vanella says:

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/03/socialism-as-a-set-of-principles

    This should help out Nate and Dave and anyone else who’s confused..

    “The millennial embrace of socialism, then, does not mean that millennials are trying to implement some complicated new economic system that they do not understand. It means that they measure any economic system by the degree to which it is humane and democratic, and they are angered by the degree to which our current one fails people. It means that they reject selfishness and believe in solidarity. And it means that they are determined to help each other build something better, whatever that may be.”

  22. RE Vanella says:

    Operation Condor in Argentina – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/26/operation-condor-trial-argentina-court-death-squads

    Anon. Your trolling is cute, but you’re embarrassing yourself. It’s clear why you’re anonymous.

  23. puck says:

    The newly arrived socialists are welcome to take their place on the long-vacant left flank of the Democratic party. America needs you there – you have been missed.

  24. Dave says:

    ” “collective or government ownership” …. has never been a part of Democratic Socialism and was abandoned by true Socialists many years ago. ”

    Jesus, no one gets. It’s not what it is. It’s what people believe! Why is that is so difficult to comprehend? The term “Democratic Socialism” is not only cumbersome, but it is automatically shortened to “socialism” Or even socialism as practiced by Democrats if you want to use a right wing meme. Most people my age, even if we are gonna die soon, are still going to be around for the next decade or longer. And when most people my age, who grew up with the Cold War hear the term, the knee jerk reaction is exactly what I said it was.

    In the era of fake news where people believe the unbelievable crap that is vomited by all sorts of characters, you think that if you put a pretty little “Democratic” in front of the word that it’s going to make a difference. You don’t have to convince me. As Alby can tell you I’m anti label anyway, so I could give a rats a** what you call it. But I can tell you what other people are calling it and ain’t two words. Most of the people I’ve been talking to lately (both millennial and death door folks) are thinking that Democrats are more or less socialists and when I ask for proof, they whip out the “Democratic Socialism” and laugh about it because they think it’s a oxymoron because how can one be both democratic and socialist?

    But hey, carry on, it’s your meme, sell it loud and proud. Maybe it will work. You don’t have to convince me, I’m voting Democratic anyway because the alternative would be nuts.

    • RE Vanella says:

      Yeah, you’re the only one who “gets it”. I saw that straightaway. You’re a genius.

  25. RE Vanella says:

    Oh, rubes! You’re worried about the rubes. I see.

    We’ll convince the sane & the sentient. Trolls can choke on me scrote.

  26. RE Vanella says:

    Joking and ranting aside, Anon Sam are just very dumb.

    On the other hand Dave’s just confused. We can work with that. The fact that Baby Boomers were indoctrinated with bullshit is fixable.

  27. jason330 says:

    I just find these trolls who bring such weak shit easy to ignore.

  28. RE Vanella says:

    It’s fun for me honestly. I read a 25,000 word review in the London Review of Books of the declassified CIA docs pertaining to the CIA backed coup in Iran ousting Mosaddegh…

    …and these turd sniffers talk about “liberal tears”.

    It’s great and motivating. Nothing proves our success better that this ..

    But I know. I suppose to behave. OK.

  29. RE Vanella says:

    I do love our large adult son. Trollo di tutti trolli.

  30. RE Vanella says:

    One last note.

    You’ll notice I mentioned an Italian co-op law.
    No engagement.

    You’ll notice I mentioned Lula and the poor in Brazil.
    No engagement.

    I don’t even mention the Nordic model, which gets across the board great results (even in economic growth and innovation), because it’s too easy.

    See what they engaged with? Cuba and the CIA comment. Plus childish right wing tropes. Liberal tears, PC language, etc.

    Even the CIA shit. Banal and well documented… Challenged. Flat-earth cult these chuds
    Fucking joke.

    They have nothing, folks. They’re scared. This shit energizes me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s not forget about the GSA/ZBS underground in Venezuela!

      And the fact that the CIA secretly installed an invertebrate extraterrestrial puppet dictator as the leader of Luxembourg! Look it up…it’s in the xenon papers produced by the council of meegosh. You can find them on the dark web!

      Here is the address http://www.imsupercrazy.com

      Or the study that shows 8 out of 10 cats prefer free range cat litter, but Trump hates cats so they’ll never get what they want as a collective.

      Good lord…do you even have a job, sir? Or is your full time job reading conspiracy blogs, making shit up, and posting on this website? I guess being a productive member of society is too capitalist and/or conformist for you? It must be fun to live on the fringes and have no friends because you’re insufferable.

      Here’s you at every social gathering:

      Every other person: “Yeah the wife and kids are good. So how are things with you?”
      You: “Comrade, have you heard the good news? The revolution has risen…”
      Every other person: [rolls eyes] “I’m gonna go get a drink…”

      • RE Vanella says:

        Do you even have a job, sir? Hahahaha! Fuck off, nerd.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah, fuck it. Yes! That’s your answer! That’s your answer to everything! Tattoo it on your forehead! Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski! Condolences! The bums lost! My advice is, do what your parents did! Get a job, sir! The bums will always lose, do you hear me, Lebowski? THE BUMS WILL ALWAYS LOSE!

          • RE Vanella says:

            It’s only my answer to you because you have nothing to add. You’re a fucking weak-mined taint sniffer. I do engage in conversation here with people who can grasp difficult concepts.

            You’re a none entity. Anonymous coward with nothing to say. An embarrassment to yourself and your family.

            If you could begin to comprehend the stuff I wrote above and you used your real name or argued in good faith that would be one thing.

            As it is I hope you die a slow death from tearing rectal fissures.

            Now fuck off, dipshit.

            • Anonymous says:

              *non-entity.

              The foam emanating from your mouth must have spilled all over your tiny hands, preventing you from typing correctly.

              And I take umbrage to the harsh language you use to describe me, sir! Taint-sniffers shouldn’t be disparaged. Why are you bigoted against individuals with proclivities like that? I do however take pride in being called a nerd. Nerds are generally nice, intelligent, and passionate people.

              I have plenty to say, silly baby man. What you don’t realize is that you actually have nothing to offer but drivel you repeat from someone else. And no one even wants to be around you, ever. Your vitriol, inflexibility, and conspiracies-are-everywhere mindset are such a turnoff that you would never actually draw one person to your cause. But keep up the hard work, comrade!

              And you obviously don’t have a job. You just sit at your computer all day. Don’t forget to change your diaper; you don’t want to get another rash. Maybe you should spend more time on monster.com or careerbuilder.com rather than on this website’s comment section? I know, you can’t morally support working for the man, maaaaaan!

              • RE Vanella says:

                Nothing to offer? See the material above that you ignored yesterday.

                Also die of boils.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Yesterday? What are you talking about, goofy man? I’ve never even posted on this site before today. I just came across your deluge of commentary and felt the need to point out that you’re a legit crazy person.

                  And how do I have nothing to offer? I’m trying to help you by pointing out that your behavior makes it so that no one wants to be around you or listen to you. I don’t need to debate policy with you. You’re an irrelevant turd speck who buzzes annoyingly like a mosquito in the ears of people who actually contribute to society.

                  You clearly spend too much time on the computer. Remember what I said about changing your adult diaper!

                  • RE Vanella says:

                    You’re trying too hard. Everyone knows.

                    I’m literally better than you in every conceivable way. And you can’t prove otherwise because you’re a coward.

                    That’s what I like most about it.

                    • Sam says:

                      Lmao… Are you trying to sound like Trump or is this an act.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Only an ego-maniacal crazy person says “I’m literally better than you in every conceivable way.” That’s something a Trump sycophant would say. I wasn’t even comparing myself to you. I wouldn’t even want to be in the same stratosphere with you because you probably smell like BO and patchouli.

                      I am proving my point with every subsequent response you provide. Thanks for the entertainment!

                      That diaper is probably a bit ripe now.

                    • Alby says:

                      I’m enjoying the wildly inaccurate stereotypes you’re pulling out of your posterior. BO and patchouli? Have you been watching old “Dragnet” reruns?

                    • Anon says:

                      Hits a little too close to home for Alby. Only thing you’re missing for him is the old t-shirt with yellow stains in the armpits.

                    • Alby says:

                      No, actually, I’ve met him, and you simply couldn’t be more wrong. But whatever you have to tell yourself, I guess.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      @alby

                      He must be a real charming person:

                      “die of boils”

                      “I hope you die a slow death from tearing rectal fissures”

  31. puck says:

    Vox: “Socialism” vs. “capitalism” is a false dichotomy
    We need go-go capitalism to afford a generous welfare state, and people won’t support go-go capitalism without a safety net. “Socialists” and Republicans forget different parts of this lesson.

  32. RE Vanella says:

    Check the rates of economic growth and innovation in the Nordic nations. You may be very surprised to learn what they are. (Hint: they’re very good.)

    Also, shifting to public service from private to state run… actually… drum roll….

    ….reduces government corruption!

    https://www.transparency.org/country/DNK

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index

    • Anon says:

      Thought your last comment was the last note? People are corrupt so let’s put even more power into the hands of government, which is run by individuals? Makes total sense…

      You are having a hard time. I am sorry for that.

      • RE Vanella says:

        I was responding to puck, but I have a question. Can you read? Are you having trouble with the links I posted? I have a really good tutor I could set up up with.

        After you washed your wife’s dirty cunt out did you drink the water? You into that? You strike me as someone who would be.

        Some people feel sorry for the weak and the stupid. Your stupidity energizes me. Plus you’re a coward, which is cool.

  33. puck says:

    The bridge that collapsed in Italy was run by a private corporation; investigation underway. This is what Trump infrastructure looks like.

  34. puck says:

    The rubes act like someone is going to throw a switch and turn America into a socialist economy. LOL!

    Capitalism is like fire: it can burn your house down, or it can warm you and your family, depending on how you regulate it. The American system needs to take the best of capitalism and the best of socialism.

    I’m not going to join DSA, because the current incarnation just has too much off-putting rhetoric and positions. But I’m with them more than I’m against them.

    Confession: I like corporate tax cuts. Why shouldn’t American business do well? Corporate tax cuts create economic energy. But it’s all about who benefits from that energy.

    When individuals attempt to scoop windfall profits out of corporations, they need to be hit with a heavy progressive tax, that will encourage them to invest the money in their workforce and equipment.

    We also need tax and requlatory framework to heavily discourage companies from stock buyouts and exporting production and jobs.

    Without that framework, corporate tax cuts are just a straight-up raid on the Treasury.

  35. RE Vanella says:

    Corporate tax cuts go into stock buy-backs and higher progressive taxes confuse the rubes. They don’t understand marginal rates. Too complicated.

    Corporate tax cuts are fascist tools of the oligarchs.

  36. Jason330 says:

    There is a lot of evidence that says corporate tax cuts go directly to stock buy backs. There is not a lot of debate around who benefits.

  37. puck says:

    I guess neither of you read to the end of my comment. More evidence in support of my proposal to put Adderall in the water supply.

  38. RE Vanella says:

    I did read it. I know you know. You want to continue to try to use capital and the oligarchy to fuel some sort of social safety net against all historical evidence.

    There’s plenty of ifs in there. At some point someone needs to tell you it doesn’t work that way. Hasn’t and won’t.

    Again I understand the theory. Doesn’t happen in practice.

  39. puck says:

    Pure capitalism and pure socialism both don’t work, so let’s take both off the table. No point arguing from extremes. We need an American hybrid.

  40. RE Vanella says:

    I guess it depends on what you mean by pure and extreme.

    I’m not delusional. Strategic incremental steps are really the only mechanism. But I’m not going to conjure up nonsense because people can’t get their heads around basic facts.

  41. puck says:

    One more thing: For decades Republicans have been moving further and further right. Now they have put up cantilevers and are building more territory to stand on even further right. All the while, people like Chris Coons celebrate their credentials as centrists, even as they have to keep running to the right to stay in the swiftly moving center.

    So supposing we end up with a few DSA members in Congress, along with a bunch of new more or less progessives, defining the newly restored left wing of the party: Will Chris Coons move left to stay in the center? Or will he abandon centrism and follow his heart to stay on the right?

  42. Alby says:

    The only reason America got the New Deal was the threat of socialism. Without that threat, oligarchs would not allow capitalism to be reformed — and indeed, they fought it from then right down to today.

    If you talk about reforming capitalism, you get nothing. If you talk about destroying capitalism, you get reform. Does anyone not understand this?

  43. puck says:

    If you talk about destroying capitalism, you get more Republicans in office.

    We didn’t get the New Deal until we had starved for five years. The destruction of capitalism was underway and was affecting people’s day to day lives. Socialist policies saved capitalism from itself.

    • RE Vanella says:

      Well, working with capitalism put Republicans in control of basically everything so….

    • Alby says:

      “If you talk about destroying capitalism, you get more Republicans in office.”

      This is a theory, not a fact. FDR had a good long run.

      So you’d rather wait until we’re 5 years into a depression (it was only 3, but I’m sure it felt like 5) before talking about it?

  44. RE Vanella says:

    Very good question on Coons. Anecdotal reports from the field suggest that while Carper’s support actually isn’t great people do have a good impression of Coons. The working explanation is that Coons is the one on MSNBC and NPR, etc.

    Do DSA and progressives in Congress can’t the political landscape…

    …Well… that’s the idea. Time will tell. Work will never stop.

  45. puck says:

    Coons will reject a newly formed left wing as extremists who don’t define his boundaries for centrism, in a way that he never rejected the teabag/freedom caucus boundaries.

  46. Alby says:

    @puck: Also, talking about socialism is the only way to dispel the misconceptions about it. As Dave points out, to at least half of Americans it’s just another word for communism.

  47. Dave says:

    “I like corporate tax cuts.”

    I don’t like tax cuts period. What I do like is effective and efficient governance of the size required to perform those functions which are governmental in nature. It cost what it cost. A tax cut by itself presumes that there is some function for which we are paying that is unnecessary. If it is unnecessary, then get rid of it and use the savings to pay down the debt.

    There are already too many corporations that effectively pay no tax at all. Thanks to a complex system of credits and deferment, Amazon will end up paying out roughly $769 million in taxes for 2017, but $724 million of that will be in foreign taxes. They made over $5.6 billion in income in 2017.

    There is something out of whack there when other countries get more taxes from Amazon than the U.S. does. But that’s symptomatic of the thinking we have in this country where we tackle symptoms rather than causes. It’s the same thinking that pays more attention the accessibility of Narcan than it does on actually eliminating addiction or on abortion rather than eliminating unwanted pregnancy. Or Medicare For All, instead doing something about current drug prices, or doing nothing about immigration reform that tackles the issue of ~ 12 M people who are not here legally, will never be leaving and are effectively stateless.

    I recognize handing out paper towels is much easier than investing in the infrastructure necessary for Puerto Rico to withstand hurricanes. It provides the illusion of progress without ever having to do much of anything. Governing is hard work. Maybe it’s too hard and it’s easier to put a band-aid on things than it is actually find a cure for what ails us.

  48. puck says:

    “There are already too many corporations that effectively pay no tax at all. ”

    High statutory rates are not a solution for that.

  49. Alby says:

    Neither are low ones. That’s his point.

  50. RE Vanella says:

    That poor anonymous coward is flopping around like a tuna just landed on a boat deck.

    • Anon says:

      Remember what they taught you when you get worked up. Repeat your mantra until it passes: “Hillary Clinton is the first female president, Hillary Clinton is the first female president…”

      • Alby says:

        Wow. Again, you couldn’t be more wrong. Does this mythical person you’re addressing yourself to appear to you in dreams? Because none of these sad little tropes actually applies. You’ve constructed a liberal boogeyman, or Fox has done it for you, and you think it’s a real person.

  51. RE Vanella says:

    Somebody get the gaff!

  52. nathan arizona says:

    This is a great thread. It’s got everything.

  53. RE Vanella says:

    We aim to please.

  54. RE Vanella says:

    …the best bit is, after everything I wrote, he thinks I’m a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

    Very slow of the uptake.

  55. Jason330 says:

    @PaulKrugman: Sooner or later, if you call any attempt to improve American lives “socialism,” a lot of people will conclude that socialism is O.K.

  56. Dave says:

    Just so I’m not debating apples when everyone discussing oranges, from a simple Wikipedia definition (in order to keep it simple)

    “Social democracy is a political, social and economic ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and capitalist economy.”

    “Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market socialist, participatory or decentralized planned economy.”

    The former is sort of what I think is the essence of the Democratic Party and I mostly am supportive of because I don’t believe any business or institution should be unregulated.

    Latter, is what I think the DSA is about, with the key discriminator being “social ownership,” which I do not support because I do not believe it is a viable system. I believe it devalues the individual and eliminates any incentive for innovation, achievement and growth.

    However, regardless of what I believe, what is everyone here referring to; the former or the latter, or something else?

  57. RE Vanella says:

    Genuine question. Why are you so burdened by the textbook definition?

    Why not let the DSA and other progressive candidates explain it?

    They’re being asked everyday.

    Don’t over think it… It’s not a puzzle.

    • Anon says:

      Not thinking thinking seems to be your only strength.

      • RE Vanella says:

        Cool insult. Want to discuss Zapitistas in Mexico or Lula in Brazil. What’s your take?

        Teach me. I mean you quoted the Big Lebowski yesterday misunderstanding that the dude is the hero and the big man is the heel.

        So, by all means, enlighten me. Show me the intellectual way.

    • Dave says:

      Genuine answer. I’m not burdened by a textbook definition per se. But I am burdened by the need for data, specifics, and facts. So when I am having a discussion I have always attempted to understand the definitions held by those using a term. Alby can confirm that I despise labels and he also pointed out that labels are useful and I agree, but undefined labels allow people to attached their own definition which often presents an unflattering and negative view of the label.

      One of my principles is to adhere to the following:

      “For every systematic development of any subject ought to begin with a definition, so that everyone may understand what the discussion is about.”

      -Marcus Tulius Cicero. De Officiis , Book 1, Moral Goodness

      I came upon that many years ago when I did much more deep reading than I do today and it stayed with me and became one of my governing principles ever since.

      P.S. The word Cicero wanted defined was “duty” and he admonished Panaetius of Rhodes (the Roman Stoic philosopher) for not doing so in discussions on the importance of philosophy in establishing moral guidance.

      • Alby says:

        @Dave: The importance of establishing terms for discussion is embodied in the phrase “begging the question,” which refers to exactly that: The question being begged is, “What do you mean by…?”

  58. nathan arizona says:

    @Meatball: Peter Dinklage. Verne Troyer. Billy Barty. Thread now complete?

    Not sure if they’re socialists.

  59. nathan arizona says:

    Actually, two of these guys are dead, so they won’t be voting.

    Life is short.