10/06/2010

Kill Welfare? Not the Parts that Feed Me

Everybody is crying over the deficit. The solution, according to practically every expert, is to cut the welfare strings that hold up dependent citizens. A recent Week Magazine article cited statistics claiming 45% of Americans don't pay taxes and nearly 50% of us are on "government benefits--Social Security, Medicare, Medicade, unemployment insurance, food stamps." The Teabaggers use this sort data to justify their existence and most of the Moon-Murdock conglomerate harps on "American dependence" as a sign of the Apocalypse.

As usual, the media is barking up the wrong tree. For starters, more than 1/3 of "employed" Americans work for local, state, and federal governments. Another big chunk of our citizens depend on government retirement benefits. A huge portion of what's left of industry in this country produces products intended for government consumption. The military, alone, chews up billions in American manufacturing productivity. Add the military crap we produce to sell to foreign governments (mostly those hostile to this country) and you have a lot of corporate welfare that always seems to be slipping under the media radar. [Since the media is a top corporate welfare recipient, that should be no surprise.] Top that with tax incentives, government grants and loans, and taxpayer financed corporate infrastructure and you have a very socialist nation that does a lot of whining about socialism. In fact, we may be the most successful socialist country in the history of the world.

Success, however, is something you have to work at and if you don't know what it is you're working for that becomes less productive. The Teabag Ladies' constant whine about their brand of social conservative fantasies is a distraction. Many, if not most, of the Teabaggers are on some form of government support; notably unemployment insurance and Social Security. Fighting against the system that feeds and houses you and your family is an odd sort of logic.

What would happen if we gave up our pretense of "traditional American values" and admitted, as a culture, that we are socialist, have been socialist since the late 1800s, and are likely to become even more socialist in the future? The most socialist beneficiaries in the country would go ballistic, for starters. Bankers and investment firms would fight this acknowledgment because it would threaten their pretense of capitalism. Banks simply borrow money from the public and loan it to the public at elevated interest rates. If we admit that banks provide no useful or necessary service that a national bank couldn't do better, thousands of inflated corporate executive salaries would disappear in a puff of logic. Financial speculation offers nothing but a lottery system slanted to benefit insiders, but if we decided to drop government support of that farce we call the stock market, more puffed-up salaries would be jeopardized and acres of propaganda would be generated to try and convince a gullible public that "you need us to keep your something for nothing fantasies alive." A significant portion of manufacturing in the United States is intended to provide products requiring  government support or outright purchase. Most of our military-industrial exports depend on associated government military grants and loans to the "purchasing" country. The auto industry requires government to build roads for their vehicles to travel. The entire medical products system (drugs and devices) depends on Medicare and Medicaid for paying customers.

The historic problem with actual socialism is that someone needs to do real work: grow food, build housing, fix broken stuff, and all of the actual production required to feed the inept and unnecessary bureaucratic masses. An obvious requirement of a successful socialist state is population control, but the usual way they mismanage that task is through wars and terrorism and purges and genocide. Maybe an honest socialist state would admit that the patriotic bullshit they usually spout is a cowardly way to get around population control. Maybe pigs will fly out of my ass and trees will grow golden apples. 

No comments:

Post a Comment