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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/20/20

Democratic Socialism is Looking Pretty Good Right About Now

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The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is this generation's smallpox.

It's our 1918 influenza pandemic.

Considering our financial infrastructure was already failing before the pandemic reached our shores, the sudden upset to businesses, medical facilities, education, transportation, employment--society at large--are also ushering in our very own Republican Great Depression.

Simply put, we are now about to experience how this country will respond to severe economic strain.

And right on cue, the very factions who every day decry the "evils of Socialism" are having to at least privately admit a little of that "S-word" is exactly what we need now to buttress the failings capitalism has wrought.

When Franklin Roosevelt assumed the presidency in 1933, he was not some flaming leftie.

He campaigned almost exclusively on rebuilding the economy that had collapsed under Herbert Hoover's failed economic policies.

Yet by the time March 1933 came around and he spoke those immortal words, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," he understood the economy needed to be restructured. It could not simply be Rube-Goldberged together with bubble gum and bailing wire, and hoped if he crossed his fingers it would remain intact until he was out of office.

He therefore promised a "New Deal" that revitalized not only the economy, but the very foundations upon which the economy was built.

Arguably, we wouldn't have been able to win World War II if the country had still been in shambles.

FDR surrounded himself with brilliant advisers and listened to those who knew more than he in order to usher in the most robust four decades (1940-1980) of prosperity this country has ever known by borrowing money and putting it directly into average Americans' pockets.

That prosperity would not have been possible without a system in which the economy and society ran democratically to satisfy public needs, not for the purpose of increasing profits for an affluent few.

In other words, FDR relied on what we today call Democratic Socialism.

And if you think he didn't get criticized for it, think again.

There were plenty accusing him of being a "communist," just as those on the right now shout at anyone who even suggests doing a fraction of what FDR did.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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5 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments


Dennis Kaiser

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The problem is there is no FDR in the foreseeable future for our nation. Bernie Sanders was the closest we had with a vision but not the backbone to withstand the smearing and cheating needed to shut him completely down. To get his agenda passed he needed to first fight the Establishment's smears. Rather than fighting he chose to succumb as he continually referred to the most corrupt person in the running in 2020 as "a decent" man.

IN the last debate while Biden gave his plan for dealing with the Covid-19 by having all medical treatment for this free with no co-pays, no deductibles, no payments Bernie let is simply pass as though Biden had come up with a unique plan rather than simply pointing out that's exactly how his Medicare for All would work for all illness all the time.

We already have Democratic Socialism in the US but it is one-sided as the bail-outs go only to the wealthy and/or corporations.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 1:14:29 PM

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Jim Glover

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Medicare does have Co pays and is not free even to us old Folks who earned it.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 9:01:25 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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Sanders' Medicare for All does not. No Deductibles either. I know the present version has both.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 11:21:47 PM

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911TRUTH

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It's over for the 99% in this country.

This virus is the last nail in the coffin.

Biden, like his old boss, No Hope No Change NObama, will just behave "Presidential" while continuing to screw the 99% to the wall.

Question to Biden: "If a Medicare For All bill is sent to your desk, would you veto it?"

Biden: "Yes"

And there you have it.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 4:18:28 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Yes, but the 5% to .05% are the newset vicitmes, as the Leisure Class becomes hte Carrier Class:

Last Wednesday I had to make an emergency trip to NY. On the way back I stopped to buy groceries in Greenwich CT at a Whole Foods - a store where every single car in the overflowing lot was either a Mercedes or a Range Rover. While standing in one of the long check-out lines packed with the creme de la creme of upper middle class America, I overheard one of the cashmere draped women in my line say to her freind in an adjacent line: "You know we're leaving tomorrow for Steamboat Springs to get some last minute skiing." To which her literal clone, who apparently also hasn't turned on a TV or radio in a week, replied, "Oh really, we're leaving Monday for Aspen."

The exchange between these two Eloi was more than a sudden realization that I was standing at a COVID-19 epicenter it was an epiphany: The Upper Middle Class are the unwitting carriers of the seeds of their own demise. They will never voluntarily self-quarantine and their overlords in the US government have no desire to make them. Every successful pandemic has a secondary vector, and the Leisure Class is to the US patented COVID-19 designer contagion what the white-footed deer mouse is to Lyme Disease.

You wonder if in a year these 5.0 to 0.5%ers will have the same insouciant conversation after the vulture capitalists at the very top of the social order have picked through the carnage of their families' collapsed small businesses, distressed real estate assets, compromised professional careers and discounted stock portfolios. They will then come face to face with the truth behind the COVID-19 economic-reset: a vacuuming of accumulated wealth and assets, up from the ever shrinking 5.0 - 0.5% demo to which they belong, to the exponentially richer ruling clique - the New American Royals - whose position continues to consolidate.

Ultimately at some point down the road in these next few decades, dystopia will be the end result when class antagonisms, partisan political spitballing and contradictions embedded in American socio-economics eventually uncoil the wrong mass response.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 6:47:09 PM

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911TRUTH

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Unbelievable!

They're probably taking private jets out there. They would never fly with the commoners.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 9:47:34 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Ha ha. And they may just find that they don't have enough money to fly back when this is over.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 10:14:14 PM

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George W.Reichel

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National socialism.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 20, 2020 at 5:42:53 PM

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