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The New American Socialism
The Las Vegas Review-Journal ^ | Sunday, February 29, 2004 | STEVEN B. MILLER

Posted on 02/29/2004 4:23:16 PM PST by Willie Green

For education and discussion only. Not for commercial use.

Inside the mind-set of the public employee unions

Nobel economcs Laureate Milton Friedman makes a powerful case that the United States today is at least 50 percent socialist.

His argument relies on two uncontroversial premises: First, socialism is defined as government ownership and control of the means of production; second, the classic test of ownership is who receives the income from those means.

Friedman then points to the economic data: Forty percent of American national income now is spent by federal, state and local government, while another 10 percent goes to pay for the regulations and restrictions that government imposes on enterprises.

"So about 50 percent of the output of the country is controlled by the government," he concluded in a January 2001 interview, "which is equivalent to saying that the government owns 50 percent of the means of production."

How did America -- land of the free and home of the brave -- go so far astray? After all, as recently as 1990 the average American still controlled about 57 percent of his or her income. Yet, during the '90s -- while the rest of the world was rediscovering free markets -- America was sleepwalking ever deeper into socialism's moldering clutches.

Actually, the same could be said about the three previous decades also -- the '60s, '70s and '80s. That's because back in 1960, the three different levels of American government, all together, confiscated less than one-third of the national income. At the time, average Americans were able to decide how to spend 67.4 percent of their paychecks. Since then, however, it's all been downhill.

What's been driving this transformation? Scholars on both the left and the right who have seriously studied government-employee unions agree that these organizations provide the primary engine.

Operating in virtually every locality in the country, white-collar government unions constantly pursue ever greater spending at all levels of government, because bigger bureaucracies translate into ever-higher salaries and more union members. Practically speaking, these government unions constantly lobby and organize for ever-higher burdens on taxpayers.

Yet since union strategists are bright enough to usually pursue these goals surreptitiously, average citizens rarely learn exactly what‰s being done to them until too late. At the most they hear carefully composed sound bites suggesting that "caring" or "fairness" necessitates some new government program.

As a result, writes Leo Troy, distinguished professor of economics at Rutgers University, a "New Society began to evolve during the past generation and its leading characteristic is the redistributive state. The transfer of income from one group of the population to another has become the major economic and social function of government's domestic programs." (Emphasis added).

Troy calls this redistributive state "the New Socialism," and devoted a 1994 book, "The New Unionism in the New Society," to the "watershed" and "far reaching" role of government unions in incessantly building and expanding the New Socialism.

Interestingly, also in 1994, University of California, Santa Cruz sociology professor Paul Johnston -- a life-long anti-war, labor and social-cause activist -- published "Success While Others Fail." Writing from his own extensive history as a government-union organizer, Johnston clearly intended to provide other union operatives with a cookbook for wringing more lucrative contracts out of government employers.

Three key steps for successfully rupturing existing municipal budgets and forcing higher government expenditures, Johnston counsels, are for the unions to 1) shroud their monetary goals in the language of "public needs," 2) form coalitions with loud special-interest groups that want more "free" goods and services, and then, in concert with those groups, 3) hammer local politicians at length, publicly, with the weaponry of well-designed sound bites.

Professors Troy and Johnston both agree that, in the words of the latter, "Public workers' views of the public interest almost invariably complement their own private interests," and as a consequence "they are bureaucracy builders" and "state builders."

Troy argues convincingly that most historical instances of support for socialism by traditional American unions have been tactically pragmatic, and that the socialism being imposed on America by government unions today is not Marxist-Leninist. That no doubt is true for the great majority of government union members in Nevada.

But Johnston, in his own semi-autobiographical account, suggests that many organizers, such as he himself was, are out for ideological revolution, confiding, "I thought I saw a chance for the realization of that old Marxist-Hegelian dream of earthly salvation, collectively organized social self-reproduction."

Indeed, given the most successful stratagem ever concocted for moving America -- and states such as Nevada -- down socialism's road, what self-respecting socialist revolutionary would not want to be in on it?

Steven B. Miller is policy director for the Nevada Policy Research Institute.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: americansocialism; socialism

1 posted on 02/29/2004 4:23:17 PM PST by Willie Green
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To: Willie Green; All
not new, they've been around awhile, check it out:

http://www.dsausa.org/

and this one:

http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/wndarchive/19519.html


demoCommiecRAT party = one truly sorry, sick, sad, pathetic, bad Freak Show!!!!
2 posted on 02/29/2004 4:27:23 PM PST by Defender2 (Defending Our Bill of Rights, Our Constitution, Our Country and Our Freedom!!!!)
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To: Willie Green
I guess this is the once in every six months or so that you and I are in the same camp.
3 posted on 02/29/2004 4:34:07 PM PST by Joe Bonforte
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: antichickenhawk
"would indicate that the US is no where near being a Socialist society"

Better take another look.
5 posted on 02/29/2004 4:40:12 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: Willie Green
Reading about this sickness is damn near enough to make me join the Libertarian Party......
6 posted on 02/29/2004 4:43:00 PM PST by Viking2002 (I think; therefore, I Freep............)
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To: Willie Green
For the last several years, I've been saying we have lost the war and America will be a communist/socialist state. The only thing left to fight for is how much we can slow it down. The pendulum swings from left to right; however, the fulcrum (or pivot point) is constantly moving to the left. We can fight and swing the pendulum to the right; thereby, slowing the leftward slide. But make no mistake about it we will be a socialist/communist country in the end.

I'd love someone to show me a positive light that shows a 3rd way--a way we can win; however, I've yet to find it. The are only 2 things that can prevent this from happening. One is catastrophic events, such as nuclear war, meteors destroying most of the earth, or other Noah like natural disasters. And the second is a complete collapse of our economy thereby throwing us into an anarchy state (much like Haiti).
7 posted on 02/29/2004 4:45:20 PM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: antichickenhawk
Anti:
hang in there and spew more crap, you may get your socialist utopia yet!
8 posted on 02/29/2004 4:47:34 PM PST by iamright (Hillary! / Sharpton in '04(Loss), '08(L), '12(L), '16(L), '20(L), . . .)
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To: antichickenhawk
poverty is at an all time low.. unemployment is historically low,, noone is turned away from health care, and the unions busted themselves,, standard of living has never been higher,, what the hell are you talking about?,, Troll!
9 posted on 02/29/2004 4:49:14 PM PST by Lib-Lickers 2
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To: antichickenhawk
This is a report about government unions. The reference to socialism is by way of Friedman's definition of socialism.

There was a time when government employment was considered a poorly paid 'service' committment but was secure.

Today government employment is a very well paid 'career' with double sometimes triple dipping benefit opportunities and even more protections.

This report is timely in that many government levels are facing budget problems but are reluctant to reveal their causes, government union pension largesse.
10 posted on 02/29/2004 4:50:50 PM PST by Hostage
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To: Viking2002
Reading about this sickness is damn near enough to make me join the Libertarian Party......

LOL. You're better off supporting real conservative Republicans or holding RINOs feet to the fire.

11 posted on 02/29/2004 4:51:06 PM PST by ServesURight (FReecerely Yours,)
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To: Willie Green
Socialism as system of human government fails at every level above the family unit or clan. History is replete with example after example. All that socialism brings, ultimately, is tyranny.
12 posted on 02/29/2004 4:53:19 PM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: Willie Green
In my time with Federal government, no union, it was the agency themselves that were doing the money grabbing. The burrowcrats never have enough. I learned the hard way, go along with fleecing the taxpayers or you will go nowhere.
13 posted on 02/29/2004 4:53:20 PM PST by cynicom
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To: Willie Green
Yet since union strategists are bright enough to usually pursue these goals surreptitiously, average citizens rarely learn exactly what‰s being done to them until too late. At the most they hear carefully composed sound bites suggesting that "caring" or "fairness" necessitates some new government program.

I've met any number of people who seem to think that failure to liberally salt one's conversation with the 'Royal F' and the 'Super S' (and thou knowest which words I refer to!) means that a person isn't genuine, authentic, and sincere.

I would submit this is entirely in error, for our prisons and Hollywood are full of vulgarians.

In contrast, nearly every time I hear a public figure talk about 'caring' and 'fairness,' I know I'm going to get Effed, and Royally so.

14 posted on 02/29/2004 4:55:21 PM PST by 537 Votes
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To: Willie Green
Nobel economcs Laureate Milton Friedman makes a powerful case that the United States today is at least 50 percent socialist.

So, there really ARE two Americas: one a republic, the other Socialist.

15 posted on 02/29/2004 4:57:06 PM PST by Old Sarge
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To: Willie Green
Scary. True. Sad.
16 posted on 02/29/2004 5:05:50 PM PST by xrp
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To: ServesURight
LOL. You're better off supporting real conservative Republicans

All 10 of them?

17 posted on 02/29/2004 5:07:34 PM PST by xrp
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To: antichickenhawk; Admin Moderator
Back to the DUmp with you troll.

His other 3 posts suggest that he nothing more than a troll as well.
18 posted on 02/29/2004 5:19:08 PM PST by RWR8189 (Its Morning in America Again!)
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To: Willie Green
Milton Friedman makes one of the best cases for the superiority of the free market that I have heard.

His series, "Free to Choose" really opened up my eyes years ago, its a shame the rest of the country is deaf to his calls.
19 posted on 02/29/2004 5:21:08 PM PST by RWR8189 (Its Morning in America Again!)
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To: Willie Green
Bump.
20 posted on 02/29/2004 5:22:51 PM PST by hedgetrimmer
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To: Willie Green
Read later.
21 posted on 02/29/2004 5:40:02 PM PST by EagleMamaMT
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To: Willie Green
bump
22 posted on 02/29/2004 5:42:00 PM PST by Stellar Dendrite
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To: Willie Green
Well just Shezaaamn.. somebody in D.C. actually uses the term socialism.. of the 2 most unused words in D.C. socialism is one.. communism is the other.. linking these two words with democracy(mob rule) is the only remaining task... cause communism is in fact socialism.. and democracy is its main vector of infection.. America is only a republic vestigally.. the sedition in this "reppublic" is almost complete..

** Democracy is the road to socialism. Karl Marx
** Democracy is indispensable to socialism. The goal of socialism is communism. V.I. Lenin
** I would like to be clearly understood...we, the Soviet people, are for socialism(cummunism).... We want more socialism and, therefore, more democracy. -Mikhail Gorbachev
** Socialism has a bad name in America, and no amount of wishful thinking on the part of the left is going to change that.... The words Economic Democracy are an adequate and effective replacement. -Derek Shearer, cited in Reason 1982

23 posted on 02/29/2004 5:42:05 PM PST by hosepipe
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To: Willie Green
bttt
24 posted on 02/29/2004 5:59:32 PM PST by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: Willie Green
excellent post
25 posted on 02/29/2004 7:17:11 PM PST by orlop9
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To: Willie Green
This is probably the most interesting article I've seen today. As someone who's worked in both public and private sector jobs, I find myself agreeing with you so much that it makes me somewhat surprised. If you were to ask the government employees at Ft. Hood about tax cuts, the opinion would run at least 60% against. These people know where their paychecks come from...
26 posted on 02/29/2004 7:26:46 PM PST by .cnI redruM (!POT EHT OT BMUP)
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To: for-q-clinton
"I'd love someone to show me a positive light that shows a 3rd way--a way we can win; however, I've yet to find it. The are only 2 things that can prevent this from happening. One is catastrophic events, such as nuclear war, meteors destroying most of the earth, or other Noah like natural disasters. And the second is a complete collapse of our economy thereby throwing us into an anarchy state (much like Haiti)."

Don't be so gloomy. Political ideology is often a generational event; kids rebel against what their folks believe. I think the 20th Century was an anomaly, heavily influenced by the Depression and the two World Wars, then along came Korea and VN and cranked up the Commies in the U.S. - don't do them the favor of calling them socialists or progressives.

But, chin up. With the colleges stuffed with Professors who were the long-haired radicals of the '60's, a lot of kids are rebelling. From what I have read, the conservative movement is gaining strength in many of today's colleges as, once again, the next generation rebels against the beliefs of their parents' generation.

Yes, it will continue to be contentious in the U.S., but that also helps our political system thrive.



27 posted on 02/29/2004 7:29:39 PM PST by Chu Gary (USN Intel guy 1967 - 1970)
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To: Willie Green
INTREP - SOCIALISM
28 posted on 02/29/2004 7:34:13 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Willie Green
Public sector unions are indistinguishable from criminal conspiracies against the American people.
29 posted on 02/29/2004 8:24:40 PM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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