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Wednesday, September 24

We're all socialists now

Great post from Thomas F Schaller from the Baltimore Sun
Saving the wealthy with socialism, conservative-style

Like it or not, we're all socialists now. You can thank those free-market conservatives and their deregulatory idol, George W. Bush, for that.

Conservatives love to wield the word socialism like some all-purpose, liberal-slaying sword. Redistribution to the poor, the right to unionize and affirmative action are decried as anti-market, unfair advantages for filthy socialists who can't compete and fail to appreciate the almighty, equalizing power of self-determination and an unfettered market.

To social conservatives, Darwinism is merely an unproven "theory" about how our species evolved. But "social Darwinism" is an ineluctable fact: The smart and hardworking prosper, while the stupid and lazy fail.

Yet notice how those same chest-thumping capitalists of talk radio and at the corporate-funded think tanks often fall silent in the face of fixed markets, no-bid contracts, bailouts and subsidies for the very corporations that demand less government oversight when things are going well, then turn to Washington when things go horribly wrong.

The hypocrisies abound.

continued with examples
Compared to these goons, most liberals I know are fiscal conservatives. No one better call me a "pinko." But then again, we Americans are getting used to living in opposite land where meanings of words and terms are now contrary to what they used to be. I don't want to hear anyone tell me that universal health care is socialist or marxist. It's cheaper than bailing out corporations that suck. Congress had better pass SCHIP. And I don't want to hear a peep about unions.

And talk about benefiting from the greatest socialist program of the 21st century, Treasury Secretary Paulson's former firms of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley stand to be the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout.

Bonuses for those who suck at their jobs. Up to 10,000 staff at the NY office of Lehman brothers will share a bonus of $2.5 billion and the 5,000 employees in London aren't even sure they will be getting their salaries.

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