29 October 2008

"Spread the Wealth Around"?

It would appear that one of our U.S. presidential candidates has had socialist tendencies (i.e. "spread the wealth around," "redistributive change," etc.) for some time now. Listen here:

Is this really the direction that our nation wants to go--politically, economically, and culturally--in this election? What does this say about the education in our land when so many seem to resonate with such a worldview? What impact would such a grand paradigm shift have on the Church in this nation? Might we Christians have to take a crash course in keeping the faith from our brothers and sisters in lands such as, say, Russia?

HT: The folks at Naked Emperor News for making this available.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

He's only talking about a progressive income tax, which this country had virtually all of the 20th Century. He's no socialist.

But if that were what made a socialist, Gov. Palin was bragging a mere 2 mon ths ago about Alaskans having commjunal ownership of energy resources, and sharing the wealth from them. Does that make her a socialist?


It's overblown campaign rhetoric.

Father Hollywood said...

I agree with Anastasia's sentiments, though I draw the opposite conclusion. I say Obama *is* a socialist - but so are John McCain and virtually every politician of the past century.

John McCain and Barack Obama voted together for the $700 billion "bail-out" - which is pure, unadulterated transfer of wealth.

Additionally, the biggest progressive tax of all is hidden - inflation. Since our currency is not backed by gold (a process that began in 1913, and was finalized in 1971), the dollar has declined in value to about 7 cents (compared to 1913). So, there is a transfer of wealth from savers to spenders (good for bankers, creditors, and in the short term, merchants; bad for retirees, those on fixed incomes, and those who think they are doing the right thing by saving.

They are all tax-inflate-and-spend socialists - though there may be some differences of opinion whose wealth should be transferred and to whom it should go.

If McCain were truly honest, he'd say: "We are all socialists now." Better yet, he'd propose a way to abolish the Fed, restore hard currency, slash entitlement spending, and cut taxes - rather than a cosmetic emphasis on the latter only.

As good as Reagan's rhetoric was, there was no shrinking of government, hence under his watch, we went from being the world's largest creditor to the world's largest debtor - which has come home to roost today.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yup, I have to concede Fr. Hollywood's point(s).

My only remaining point is, it's unfair to single out Obama as a socialist.

To Fr. H's points, I add: not only are we now the world's largest debtor, but guess who is lending much of it to us? China. We are in huge, huge debt to, of all nations, communist China! China is keeping us financially afloat. The implications of that are worth pondering.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

P.S. 700 billion-dollar bailout? Make that 850 billion. They added 150 billion worth of pork to induce people to vote for it.

Father Hollywood said...


You're right. And it keeps going up from there. I don't think anyone has an exact number - and it is still growing.

Can you imagine if we ran our households this way? Or private businesses? Why aren't there a whole slew of congressmen in prison?

Diana said...

I have nothing to say about all this socialist/communist/economics/spread the wealth around stuff. I'm a single issue voter. Prolife from top to bottom. If you consider that how one would lead proceeds from how they view the value of human life, there's no contest. The choice is clear.

Randy Asburry said...


I must respectfully disagree with you that Obama is "no socialist." Of course he is, with comments such as "spread the wealth around." After all, that is the definition of socialism, is it not?

I will agree with you that the U.S. government and too many of its policies in the 20th century, and now into the 21st, lean very socialist too. Can you say, "New Deal" a la FDR? I will also agree that the last eight years have certainly "trended" toward socialism in various ways. I for one have been disappointed in that part of the Bush years/legacy.

Oh, and the "bail out" (er, I mean "rescue package")? Of course, that's socialistic. And very disappointing that McCain voted for it. He really could have stepped out as a "maverick" and voted against it. Now that would have been something to see!

But just because socialism has been creeping in on various other fronts, that does not mean Obama is "no socialist." I think its a matter of speeding up our slide down the slippery slope.

Fr. Hollywood,

Very good points and details.

Yes, the socialism is growing in this country, and has been for some time. I also happen to believe that we can find its roots in the progressive education system since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. So, it's certainly been growing for some time.


I'm certainly sympathetic with your "one issue," as you know. I don't know that I'd say I'm a "one issue" voter as much as making the issue of life the primary issue among and above others. The other issues do matter for other reasons.

Great discussion! Thanks.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Pr. Asburry, I retracted that after Fr. Hollywood corrected me. Obama and McCain, Biden and Palin and Bush, they're all socialists.

Or feudalists, or something. What they're all acting in behalf of, whatever you want to call it, isn't free-market capitalism, anyway - or, let us note, democracy, either, because the two go together.

Randy Asburry said...

Anastasia, oh yes, I did see that. I think we're all in agreement on this: they're all socialists to one degree or another, and I'm pretty sure that if our nation's founding fathers came back today they'd say, "That's not the system of governance we established in the Constitution!"

Past Elder said...

You were right the first time, Anastasia.

I am not for the bailout, I think the vote on it is only the latest in all kinds of clues that it really doesn't matter who wins the election, there will be no fundamental change in anything, including pro-life issues.

What is more, the bailout is morphing from government purchase of mortgage-backed securities to clean up books to non-voting ownership stakes in the banks of those books, and the carmakers appear to be lining up for their bailout. More is on the way whoever wins.

However, transfer or redistribution of wealth is not at all the essence of socialism. Every economic system does that, the difference being how and by whom. It ain't socialism until the government seizes control of the means of production. Seizure of the means of exchange (money) is not the same thing. Regulation of the means of production is not the same thing, and recognised by socialists as a half measure, and doomed to fail in their estimation no less than in yours.

Overblown campaign rhetoric, indeed.