The Dreaded S Word – Are the writers of Newsweek insane

Those writers over at Newsweek have lost their marbles. First they said that Somalian immigrants have “saved” Lewiston Maine from crumbling. Now “we are all socialists“.

from Newsweek

All of this is unfolding in an economy that can no longer be understood, even in passing, as the Great Society vs. the Gipper. Whether we like it or not—or even whether many people have thought much about it or not—the numbers clearly suggest that we are headed in a more European direction. A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points. As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French.

Ok, I admit I’m taking the title does not represent the article. The Newsweek article simply stated that as more and more babyboomers reach retirement age our entitlement spending will grow. As other problems arise, health care or fuel for example, the government will be forced to spend again. The article suggests we should just except this fact and move on. Does that sound right to you? It shouldn’t.

I don’t mind the government spending if it is smart spending. Newsweek seems to be advocating a spend spend spend government. I give you this analogy. Newsweek has a car. nearly every other month the car is in the shop. $200 here $400 there. They keep going through these small patches until finally the car craps out. Unfortunately for Newsweek, because they were spending to keep fixing the car they never saved enough to afford a new one. That is what they would have us to with our government. Just keep tossing cash around instead of truly fixing problems.

Bush tried it with his bailout and other spending during his administration. I think it’s clear how that turned out. We thrown money at our education system for years. Still our children are not meeting standards and districts still have their hands out. Pension payouts helped tank the big three auto makers. Putting more money into Social Security will not stop the looming shortage.

We need reform and strategic spending not blanket spending. Even Sweden has partly privatized it’s social security. Common sense and cool heads are what we need now. At the end of the Newsweek piece they say, “the catch is that more government intrusion in the economy will almost surely limit growth (as it has in Europe, where a big welfare state has caused chronic high unemployment). Growth has always been America’s birthright and saving grace.”

This is why we are not, and will never be, a socialist state, or even a welfare state like France. We will not be limited. Our individual ambitions will not be stifled. Americans don’t just break glass ceilings. We obliterate them. That is what gets us ahead.

I think de Tocqueville said it best

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

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The Dreaded S Word – Are the writers of Newsweek insane

Those writers over at Newsweek have lost their marbles. First they said that Somalian immigrants have “saved” Lewiston Maine from crumbling. Now “we are all socialists“.

from Newsweek

All of this is unfolding in an economy that can no longer be understood, even in passing, as the Great Society vs. the Gipper. Whether we like it or not—or even whether many people have thought much about it or not—the numbers clearly suggest that we are headed in a more European direction. A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points. As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French.

Ok, I admit I’m taking the title does not represent the article. The Newsweek article simply stated that as more and more babyboomers reach retirement age our entitlement spending will grow. As other problems arise, health care or fuel for example, the government will be forced to spend again. The article suggests we should just except this fact and move on. Does that sound right to you? It shouldn’t.

I don’t mind the government spending if it is smart spending. Newsweek seems to be advocating a spend spend spend government. I give you this analogy. Newsweek has a car. nearly every other month the car is in the shop. $200 here $400 there. They keep going through these small patches until finally the car craps out. Unfortunately for Newsweek, because they were spending to keep fixing the car they never saved enough to afford a new one. That is what they would have us to with our government. Just keep tossing cash around instead of truly fixing problems.

Bush tried it with his bailout and other spending during his administration. I think it’s clear how that turned out. We thrown money at our education system for years. Still our children are not meeting standards and districts still have their hands out. Pension payouts helped tank the big three auto makers. Putting more money into Social Security will not stop the looming shortage.

We need reform and strategic spending not blanket spending. Even Sweden has partly privatized it’s social security. Common sense and cool heads are what we need now. At the end of the Newsweek piece they say, “the catch is that more government intrusion in the economy will almost surely limit growth (as it has in Europe, where a big welfare state has caused chronic high unemployment). Growth has always been America’s birthright and saving grace.”

This is why we are not, and will never be, a socialist state, or even a welfare state like France. We will not be limited. Our individual ambitions will not be stifled. Americans don’t just break glass ceilings. We obliterate them. That is what gets us ahead.

I think de Tocqueville said it best

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

Nightly News Roundup – Obama Interview, Car Sales, Protests, Property Taxes, Fairpoint Email, Triathalon Sellout

NBC – Obama screwed up

CBS – Auto sales in crapper

ABC – Protestin’ all over the world

WCSH6 – Silver lining to some?

WGME13 – Email Uh-Oh

WMTW8 – Love for the ladies

I Wanna Riot – Protests sweep Europe. Is America next?

Protests sparked by the current economic downturn are popping up all over Europe. Not all of them are peaceful either.

Rioting in Iceland forced the resignation of the country’s Prime Minister last Tuesday. Police arrested 20 of the 2,000 protesters after the crowd began throwing smoke bombs, attempted to break windows at parliament, and hurled snow and ice at the PM’s car. Police used mace to break up the crowd.

Greek farmers lifted roadblocks Friday that had been in place for over ten days. The farmers set the blocks up to call the Greek government’s attention to the lack of action on falling agricultural prices. “The farmers returned to their farms and houses and the biggest protest in the agricultural sector so far ended in the best possible way,” said the Greek Agricultural Minister.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Bulgaria erupted in protest last week. 14 were injured in the Lithuanian capital as actions turned violent. Looting and destruction resulted from demonstrations in Riga, Latvia’s capital. Store windows and police vehicles were smashed by rioters. Over 100 were arrested.

Union strikes have spilled over into France and Britain. Despite the disruption of services in France, things have staid peaceful in both France and Britain.

Should we be worried in the US? If things get worse before they get better, which isn’t unlikely, would citizens take to the streets. Some are already saying Europe is facing a “Revolution Winter”. A few say we might not be far behind. “It’s amazing that people aren’t more angry here,” Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “Our government is still looking out more for the banks and the people who caused the mess than the people who are being victimized.”

Americans tend to protest in a more constructive way. Americans are calling their representatives, emailing, and using netroots programs to get their views straight to those with the power to make the changes. Most of us recognize that this whole thing is in the government’s hands at this point. Preventing them from working on this thing wont help anyone right now. Alarmists out there would like you to think riots will flame up across the country tomorrow. They wont and saying they will wont help. Band together and help your neighbors. We’ve gone through hardships before and we’ll make it through this one.

Laaaaaazy – The French Work Week

The French have had a 35 hour work week since 1998. Conservative French politicians, angry with this socialist policy, lobbied to have the mandatory work hours limit removed. Bosses can now set whatever hours they want, with 35 as a minimum. Much to the chagrin of French conservatives, most companies have stayed at 35 hours. Conservatives see the shortened work week as excessive leisure time. While French workers certainly enjoy the extra time with their families, the shorter work week saves companies money in these hard economic times. It’s really a win win for everyone involved.

That is the difference between Europeans and Americans. Europeans realize that a happy worker is a good worker. When a worker can spend more time with their family that creates a stronger family and thus a stronger nation. Americans, especially social conservatives, yell about the decline of the family unit and its connection to the country’s decline. They will lay blame on everything from gay marriage and single mothers to socialism and minorities for this breakup of family. Those same conservatives however refuse to support working families so that they can spend more quality time with their families. It just goes to show how much the extreme right really care for this country.

By the way, I don’t believe all conservatives or Republicans are in the same category as extremists. Most aren’t. There are a great many Republicans fighting for the middle and working classes in this country.