Tim: – You create a straw man to knock down when you compare Democratic Socialists in the US to what happened in Venezuela.
M Yohe: - No, I did not create the comparison. Venezuela has been touted by this site for many years as one of the examples of how good socialists’ ideas are. Now that they have tanked. You don’t want to use Venezuela any more. I have no problem saying what is wrong with socialism…
Tim: I have been off of CFI for well over 2 yrs, until recently. I don’t remember anyone lauding Venezuela as a model of Socialism. If someone had, it logically, could only have been early in Chavez’s reign when things were going well, before his autocracy lead to disaster, as it so often does. Democratic Socialism in the USA will not lead to autocracy. Trumpism might. The other difference that makes Venezuela style socialism completely different than what USA Democratic Socialists promote, is that there is absolutely no promotion of the govt taking over wealth producing industries and running them to make profits to use for social programs. So, again, the making of Venezuela into a straw man, is just a more sophisticated way of lying.
What is functional about USA Democratic Socialism is that it promotes means to repair or ameliorate the abuses of poorly regulated Capitalism. Our current capitalism continues to exacerbate wealth disparity, funneling more wealth to the wealthy, while the middle and lower economic classes are getting no-where. We need our middle class to grow like it did in the days when the taxes on the wealthiest was 90%. We need to end the stagnation of wages for the mid and lower economic classes, that the persistent Bullcrap of “trickle down economic” has provided for decade after decade after decade.
$15 minimum wage, affordable healthcare for all, affordable childcare, affordable quality education. These are not extremist policies that in some conspiracy theory kind of way will lead to communism. It is a pretty mainstream policy direction, imo. What seems extremist to me is the profitization of our educational system, of prisons, and even to some extent of our military. Profitized healthcare is, I think, the primary reason that healthcare costs WAY MORE in the USA than in other industrialized countries that have healthcare for ALL of their citizens, as well as BETTER health outcomes. (If we pooled all of the money that we currently spend on healthcare from all sources, we could finance healthcare for all AND have better long term outcomes AND have money left over.) These are not some heinous, insidious ideas that you can honestly demonize by naming it Socialism-that-is-Communism. Of course you can DISHONESTLY do that and all the righties and Trumpists will be trying to do that until the 2020 election.