Is President Obama Really a Socialist? — I Wish!
Right-wing wackos love to call President Obama a ”socialist” — as though that’s a bad thing.
Frightened flag-waving bigots tend to use interchangeable buzz words – socialist, communist, marxist — without having the slightest understanding of what these terms really mean.
So, let’s take a closer look, shall we? Let’s examine state of modern socialism in the world, circa 2012.
Where to begin?
Too bad there aren’t nations we could look to as prime examples. Too bad there aren’t nations with the kinds of policies we American progressives are fighting for — like universal health coverage, higher taxes on the wealthy and big corporations, increased spending on infrastructure including mass transit, deeper cuts in military and defense, increased government regulation of businesses, and protection for the environment. It sure would be nice to see where nations that have those kinds of policies rank in all kinds of different categories.
There are nations like that in the world?
So, where do these socialist-leaning nations rank? More important, where do we rank?
Indeed, let’s see where the Unites States ranks in several key categories – measured by simple things like happiness, health conditions, and quality of life. If you’re one of those flag-waving jinjoists, brace yourselves for a heavy dose of reality:
U.S. rank — 51st
(Source: CIA World Factbook 2012) Link: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html
INFANT MORTALITY RATE:
U.S. rank — 40th
(Source: Kaiser Foundation) Link: http://www.globalhealthfacts.org/data/topic/map.aspx?ind=91
HUMAN POVERTY INDEX:
U.S. rank — 17th (out of 22 nations where data was collected)
(Source: United Nations) Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Poverty_Index
HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS:
U.S. rank — 37th
(Source: World Health Organization) Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization_ranking_of_health_systems
Now, a few comments. It should be noted that the United States SPENDS MORE ON HEALTH CARE THAN ANY OTHER NATION IN THE WORLD and yet it ranks 37th!
Why aren’t there riots in the streets? Anyone still want to parrot that nonsense about America’s health care system being the “best in the world?” Best for who? And, at what cost?
But health care is just one of the faulty props on the wobbly multi-legged wooden stool that’s crumbling under the weight of actual facts. Let’s return to the so-called evils of socialism, shall we? Surely, statistics will reveal that those countries which are considered to be liberal social democracies rank below the United States – right?
By just about any measure, the United States barely cracks the top ten on most lists, if it ranks at all. By contrast, most of the nations that rank ahead of us are liberal social democracies. As proof, I’ve cited a number of different sources, mostly from conservative business circles, including the U.K.’s highly-respected “The Economist” to that bastion of anti-American liberalism called “Forbes” magazine.
HAPPIEST NATIONS (Source: http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/19/norway-denmark-finland-business-washington-world-happiest-countries.html )
5. New Zealand
10. United States
QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX: (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_index )
NATIONS WITH THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING (source: http://able2know.org/topic/55762-1 )
6. United States
Just by glancing over these lists, notice any similarities between the nations which always seems to rank at and near the top? Nationalized health care — you’re getting warmer. Higher taxes on the wealthy and big corporations — you’re getting warmer still. More spending on infrastructure including mass transit — now you’re getting really warm. Smaller military and defense — now you’re really hot. Government regulation of businesses — now you’re burning. Protection for the environment — you’re on fire!’
That’s right. Think of the “s-word.”
Now, go ahead and say it. SOCIALISM.
Finally, let’s look into one area where the United States is actually a world leader and then decipher why this is so. Question: Where do you think the U.S. ranks in terms of higher education?
Well, the answer is – number one.
That’s right. According to just about any reputable source, the United States has the best colleges and universities in the world — by far. Young people come here from all over the world to get an education. According to The Guardian the U.S. had 76 of the 200 world’s top institutions of higher learning. The majority of these institutions were state (or government run) universities (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/oct/03/world-top-100-universities-2012 ).
So, one of the few things that America is doing right is spending vast sums of money on education. You know, having the government take the lead on something and then providing access to as many people as possible so they might share in the dream and improve their lives. Ignore the demogoguery – this is what “socialism” really means.
So, next time some asinine right-winger calls the President a “socialist,” be sure to fire back – ”I wish!”
Then, remind them where the United States ranks against many so-called “socialist” countries. Of course, this will do absolutely no good, since most of the xenophobes probably couldn’t find those other nations on a map.
Socialism is not a dirty word.