Socialism In Perspective


With the right wing claiming that Obama is a socialist, we have a reality check from Conor Clarke who shows in the above chart how much of corporate and business assets are really held by the government.  (Click on chart for larger image.) It is hard to take claims of socialism seriously when it is only about one-fifth of one percent.

If Obama was really a socialist he would be expected to be seizing entire industries, not reluctantly getting involved in companies which requested that the government get in. He would also be expanding his nationalization of business to include more industries. He certainly would not have limited his “nationalization” to companies which are in trouble and which present more problems than they are worth. If the goal was socialism, we would also see the boards become packed with government bureaucrats, instead of businessmen who are working towards making GM profitable in order to terminate the high degree of government ownership.

The Republicans pretend that it is Democrats who back government in the economy but in many ways they are even more guilty. In the Bush years we had Dick Cheney’s energy task force. Bush’s Medicare D plan was basically a joint effort with the insurance industry to funnel them government money in return for all their financial support to him. The Republicans in the Congress were no better with the K Street Project. Go further back in time and we had the ultimate perversion of the market system under Richard Nixon with wage and price controls.

Inside The Obama White House

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The first part of NBC’s documentary Inside The Obama White House aired last night and was very well done. While it was better to watch it in HD on a big screen, above is a portion for those who missed it. Part 2 is airing tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern time. Further material, including additional video, is posted on line.

The show included film of the real West Wing, as well as other parts of the White House, and interviews. Obama gave his put down of cable news when asked if he watches when they are debating about what he has done:

I generally don’t. Mainly because I don’t find most of the cable chatter very persuasive. I’ve used this analogy before, it feels like WWF wrestling. Everybody’s got their role to play. I know a lot of these guys. And if Pat Buchanan is having a conversation with Chris Matthews or talking to Keith Olbermann, everybody’s got their set pieces and, so, I don’t feel as if I’m learning anything from the debate.