Friday, 24 August 2018

Selling Socialism

I had a political professor once (remember, I only attended night school where you got some of the unusual professors)....who got onto the topic of socialism and suggested there were three layers.  There was absolute socialism (which never flourishes or exists in reality).  Then you had hybrid-socialism (which was mostly capitalism, with enough taxation to gift out socialism things to people).  And then you had fake hybrid-socialism where you taxed enough to gift out socialism things, but you corrupted the system enough that only special people got the gifts.

It was one of those evenings where you left class and spent an hour pondering over what was said.

I see a lot of salesmanship going on with socialism today, and folks trying hype up the 'gift-giving' business to the extent that everyone could be happy.  It's like some newly blended ice cream that folks never ask about the ingredients, or the nutritional value.

Throughout the 1800s....on several occasions in America....plain and absolute socialism was attempted.  In one case, tons of money was poured into the foundation to jump-start the system, and the belief was that once things got going....the money business could be halted and the system would sustain itself. each and every case (even the episode with tons of money).....each came to a clear end.  Some took well over a decade, but none could sustain themselves.

The general failure?  Generally, it was a human condition that we'd call 'expectations'.  When people walk into a deal like this.....they have this idea in their head.  It's like when you walk into a Hooters-joint.  You expect booby-gals, fatty food, great taste to the food, and a particular cost level.  If the food failed, or the beer was awful, or the bill added up to three times what you expected.....then Hooters would not work.

So the general method to making hybrid-socialism work?  You have to allow capitalism to function for the most part, with a few controls to suggest that you are in charge or maintaining the 'system'.  You tax virtually everything, and as the money flows back into the have some 'Larry-guy' standing there with a list of things that make people happy. Naturally, you can't have free-beer, free-muffins, or free-vacations.  But you can have money poured into poverty-projects, bridges, tram-lines that have zero return value, and fund spacious airports in the middle of nowhere.

The fake-hybrid-socialism system?  The chief place today where you see it is Venezuela.  The problem in this case is that you micromanaged the capitalistic system so much....that you can't even rely upon the local grocery to have toilet paper, ketchup, or watermelons.  So when people come to you, and kinda expect your fake system to deploy to full capability, your response is that it's on full-turbo power, and it won't get much better.

As for the college kids who hyped-up and enthusiastic about socialism?  They seem to be stuck on some fantasy-world that professor so-and-so describes but no one has actually been there or seen that.  It's like that Star Trek series where people talk about Kilo-9 or the dark-planet (a fictional place), but they talking like it's potentially there.

In their mind, socialism is kind of an image of Disneyland, and it's all wonderful, free, and abundant in nature.

The 'Poop' Job

There's a piece off 'Hotair' that I read today....discussing San Francisco and the 'crap' on the streets.  Someone did the research and found that the city funds a fairly large group of street cleaners with a special mission to do the 'poop' clean-up business of the homeless crowd. 

The pay-level?  That's what interested me.

They actually pay near $72,000 a year, for each person on the patrol.  Then you get medical benefits, retirement, etc.  All total?  The city says near $185,000 per person.

It's an amazing amount of money.  Course, you have to wear the bio-hazard gear.....tote around various hoses all day (it's probably sweaty work), and you have the potential to get into some stinky business.  But here's the can probably retire by age fifty and collect at least $40,000 a year.  Off that, in could live a pretty decent retirement.....having cleaned up 'crap' your entire life.