Failure of European Socialism & the Social Welfare States - What we need to prevent in the US

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    Nov 07, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    Rep. Paul Ryan sends a warning:
    "I am enormously concerned. First of all, Greek contagion can spread to some of these other countries like you said. What this basically is… It is so ironic coming from the cradle of Western Civilization. What we are seeing is the failure of European socialism and social welfare states. What is basically happening here is this sovereign debt crisis could come over and spread to us. We’ve got to make sure we put in the right kind of fiscal controls, the right kind of balancing to prevent this from happening. Because what’s happening is the markets are questioning the viablility of sovereign debt. The markets are questioning whether or not governments are going to be able to live up to all the promises and debt that they have racked up… Sooner or later you run out of spending other people’s money with welfare states."



    To better understand the failure of modern socialism, it is important to understand its failure in both Eastern and Western Europe. While there are always unique circumstances in each country, the overall pattern is clear.

    This is a good read. I have personal experiences on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and have seen the misery socialism brought to families, leading guys in their early 20s to decide to escape. (As an aside, they couldn't tell their parents they were planning to escape because they knew Stasi would interrogate them. In each case, they left home one morning, saying bye as usual, but expecting never to see their families again.) Of the guys I knew, a couple made it, one did not. Fortunately he wasn't killed, but imprisoned until shortly before the wall collapsed and he was expelled from the DDR (East Germany).
    Why Socialism Collapsed in Eastern Europe
    http://www.cato.org/special/berlinwall/palmer1990.html
    ...Socialism not only did not produce prosperity, it produced mass poverty....

    Western European Socialism: The Triumph Of Mediocrity
    http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2004/tle293-20041017-02.html

    Socialism is desirable only to the highly misguided who have let theoretical concepts dominate over actual experience.
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    Nov 07, 2011 12:50 AM GMT
    I think there's a serious risk more with States than the entirety of the US - though there's cause for concern there. I doubt people in Indiana are going to be willing to bail out states like California, Illinois or New York given their profligacy and unwillingness to look at reality.
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    Nov 07, 2011 2:06 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidI think there's a serious risk more with States than the entirety of the US - though there's cause for concern there. I doubt people in Indiana are going to be willing to bail out states like California, Illinois or New York given their profligacy and unwillingness to look at reality.

    The risk will ultimately be mitigated by the election next year. If history repeats itself, after Jimmy Carter we were rid of socialism for a good generation.
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    Nov 07, 2011 4:17 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    riddler78 saidI think there's a serious risk more with States than the entirety of the US - though there's cause for concern there. I doubt people in Indiana are going to be willing to bail out states like California, Illinois or New York given their profligacy and unwillingness to look at reality.


    Well.... they will, via the Federal government.


    I am guessing this is something that will be difficult to pass muster in Congress.
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    Nov 07, 2011 4:36 AM GMT
    Rep. Ryan should stick with teaching P90X at the Congressional gym and leave weightier matters to minds capable of tackling them.
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    Nov 07, 2011 4:38 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidRep. Ryan should stick with teaching P90X at the Congressional gym and leave weightier matters to minds capable of tackling them.


    Yes - so says the guy who supports those in Congress who believe that it's an issue that can be solved by new taxes and ignored until entitlement programs become bankrupt. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Nov 07, 2011 5:01 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidRep. Ryan should stick with teaching P90X at the Congressional gym and leave weightier matters to minds capable of tackling them.

    It is unfortunate that the quality of your posts has gone downhill. You used to try and make substantive points, but you don't even bother now. I realize it must be difficult finding facts and logic to counter what must be becoming for you painfully obvious that what you believe in is not working. Actually I'm not gloating at all. I can relate to what you described as your background, and I understand the liberal tradition in which you grew up. The Democrats looked out for the common man, the ethnic groups discriminated against. The Republicans were favored by those gray haired WASPS who enjoyed their country clubs that did not allow non-WASPS to join. Times changed. The Republicans became more open, though the fundamentalists are still problematic. The Democrats doubled down on wild spending, catering to all the special interests and tanking the economy. I'm sorry we are on opposite sides now, but I am very passionate about eradicating what has become a toxic effect on the country.
  • GQjock

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    Nov 07, 2011 12:26 PM GMT
    Paul Ryan?// lol

    The let's kill Medicare Paul Ryan??

    icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Nov 07, 2011 12:43 PM GMT
    GQjock saidPaul Ryan?// lol

    The let's kill Medicare Paul Ryan??

    icon_rolleyes.gif


    It's remarkable that he at least has the courage to talk about issues and consider solutions other politicians are afraid to touch while instead, these other politicians deny that there's even a problem selling out future generations of Americans by prolonging problems that can only get worse.
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    Nov 07, 2011 12:59 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidRep. Ryan should stick with teaching P90X at the Congressional gym and leave weightier matters to minds capable of tackling them.


    Well if we keep going with Obama's ideas we are all going to be in poverty, which would lead to another Democratic Success: Fairness.
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    May 27, 2012 7:56 PM GMT
    As relevant today as it was a few months ago.
  • conservativej...

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    May 27, 2012 8:13 PM GMT
    At the moment, I think I'm going to let you guys worry about the U.S. I've been working hard on the European front to make sure my ass doesn't go down the tubes with Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland. Those economies in Europe where I am heavily vested, will survive. They are however about to take a very hard hit.

    The great part is the strong economies are re-aligning into a new axis. What I'm saying may sound goofy as hell, but then I have no intent of sounding otherwise.

    Lesson one shall come in Europe, then perhaps for many in the U.S. If you are a European who has been living off someone else's money, you are about to suffocate.
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    May 27, 2012 8:21 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidRep. Ryan should stick with teaching P90X at the Congressional gym and leave weightier matters to minds capable of tackling them.


    Yes - so says the guy who supports those in Congress who believe that it's an issue that can be solved by new taxes and ignored until entitlement programs become bankrupt. icon_rolleyes.gif


    OMG, talk about hitting the nail on the head.
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    May 27, 2012 10:58 PM GMT
    Would that the US were like Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland... the well known failed socialist states :-)
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    May 27, 2012 11:08 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidWould that the US were like Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland... the well known failed socialist states :-)

    The Scandinavian countries have been able to better afford the social programs because they have abundant natural resources relative to a fairly sparse population. That said, Sweden has moved to the right over the past several years.
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    May 28, 2012 12:11 AM GMT
    socalfitness said
    TigerTim saidWould that the US were like Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland... the well known failed socialist states :-)

    The Scandinavian countries have been able to better afford the social programs because they have abundant natural resources relative to a fairly sparse population. That said, Sweden has moved to the right over the past several years.


    Well that and the fact they have been riding on their history of economic wealth which has been the direct result of greater economic liberty.
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    May 28, 2012 2:15 AM GMT
    Actually, it's almost completely irrelevant now as austerity measures drive Europe into mass unemployment and civil unrest.

    Try that here and keep in mind our population is largely armed.
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    May 28, 2012 2:31 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidActually, it's almost completely irrelevant now as austerity measures drive Europe into mass unemployment and civil unrest.

    Try that here and keep in mind our population is largely armed.


    You seem to think there are much better alternatives to actually figuring out things like how to keep programs sustainable and removing spending and regulations that are not productive. It's the kind of austerity though that matters.
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    May 28, 2012 2:44 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidActually, it's almost completely irrelevant now as austerity measures drive Europe into mass unemployment and civil unrest.

    Try that here and keep in mind our population is largely armed.

    Whatever the specific merits or problems with austerity programs may be, that argument is only a diversion from the socialist policies that led to the problems. (In the case of Spain, spending did not lead to the initial problems, but the response involving spending made things worse.)
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    May 28, 2012 4:49 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidActually, it's almost completely irrelevant now as austerity measures drive Europe into mass unemployment and civil unrest.

    Try that here and keep in mind our population is largely armed.


    You seem to think there are much better alternatives to actually figuring out things like how to keep programs sustainable and removing spending and regulations that are not productive. It's the kind of austerity though that matters.


    I say the wealthy and corporations pay their taxes and we go from there.

    Of course, that would suppose that one of American's two major parties hadn't lost it's collective mind over the 10 years or so.

    The reality - which you refuse to accept - is that progress has been impeded largely by the Republicans and the American people are rightly blaming them for it. Look at Socal, he used to be a reasonable guy and his inexplicable hatred for Obama has driven him completely loopy.
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    May 28, 2012 4:58 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidActually, it's almost completely irrelevant now as austerity measures drive Europe into mass unemployment and civil unrest.

    Try that here and keep in mind our population is largely armed.


    You seem to think there are much better alternatives to actually figuring out things like how to keep programs sustainable and removing spending and regulations that are not productive. It's the kind of austerity though that matters.


    I say the wealthy and corporations pay their taxes and we go from there.

    Of course, that would suppose that one of American's two major parties hadn't lost it's collective mind over the 10 years or so.

    The reality - which you refuse to accept - is that progress has been impeded largely by the Republicans and the American people are rightly blaming them for it. Look at Socal, he used to be a reasonable guy and his inexplicable hatred for Obama has driven him completely loopy.


    Yeah because the wealthy and corporations don't already pay their taxes. As I've heard said - you can't love jobs but hate the people who create them. The reality that I do accept is that progress has come as a result of free(er) markets that it's overregulation and government overreach that have caused most financial crises not to mention slow growth.

    What has Socal said that suggests he is in any way loopy? The only ones persistently loopy are you and those like Meninlove and the "bitch". You've become notedly more partisan rather than bothering with considering any alternative points of view or addressing issues on their face.
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    May 28, 2012 12:36 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    TigerTim saidWould that the US were like Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland... the well known failed socialist states :-)

    The Scandinavian countries have been able to better afford the social programs because they have abundant natural resources relative to a fairly sparse population. That said, Sweden has moved to the right over the past several years.


    Oh please, the right in Sweden is like the far left of the democrats.

    In any case, the USA is indeed blessed with abundant natural resources relative to the population. We're the richest country in the world, no? How come the Danes can manage it and we can't?

    You're also neglecting Germany, the socialist country that so successful it's killing the rest of Europe.

    In short, socialism is not an explainer of the present state of European countries. On the converse side, the most radically free market---Ireland---is in deep trouble.
  • conservativej...

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    May 28, 2012 3:40 PM GMT
    The real problem in Europe can be summed in this statement: The Greeks want the German to work to a retirement age of 67 so that they may retire at age 50. All across Europe there are parallels to this, that is also an example of what we see in America across primarily racial and ethnic groups.
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    May 28, 2012 3:45 PM GMT

    *blinks innocently*

    You mean like this, Socal?

    "More than $380 million in early grants and other aid from the federal health law have already gone to businesses and agencies in the Lone Star State, according to figures from the Department of Health and Human Services, and Texas ended up with $17 billion from the stimulus.

    Now, the state is waiting for final approval of a new waiver from federal Medicaid rules that could allow the state to draw down an additional $12 billion in funds from the federal government.

    And that’s before the main parts of the Affordable Care Act even kick in, bringing billions of dollars to Texas in extra Medicaid funds and subsidies to help people buy private coverage through a new health insurance exchange.

    If the law survives its upcoming review by the Supreme Court, its expansion of Medicaid alone could cost the federal government anywhere from $53 billion to $67 billion in aid to Texas by 2019, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

    That’s more than any other state would get under that part of the law. The only other state that comes close is California, which would get between $45 billion and $55 billion in federal Medicaid funds."



    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/69072.html#ixzz1wBCp7ofk
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    May 28, 2012 4:59 PM GMT
    TigerTim said
    socalfitness said
    TigerTim saidWould that the US were like Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland... the well known failed socialist states :-)

    The Scandinavian countries have been able to better afford the social programs because they have abundant natural resources relative to a fairly sparse population. That said, Sweden has moved to the right over the past several years.

    Oh please, the right in Sweden is like the far left of the democrats.

    In any case, the USA is indeed blessed with abundant natural resources relative to the population. We're the richest country in the world, no? How come the Danes can manage it and we can't?

    You're also neglecting Germany, the socialist country that so successful it's killing the rest of Europe.

    In short, socialism is not an explainer of the present state of European countries. On the converse side, the most radically free market---Ireland---is in deep trouble.

    As you know, there is not one specific measure of modern socialism, or "democratic socialism" if that term is more PC. There are differences in degree, and different countries can afford different degrees. You can look at the differences in each country to deny a general conclusion can be reached if you are so inclined. Specifically, Germany is to the left of the US but they have been able to afford some entitlements because of their strong economy. That strength resulting from extremely robust exports to other parts of the world, That strength, in turn, led to a strong domestic demand, which further strengthened the economy. Within Germany, and Sweden as well, positions have moved over the years to the right. Even though Germany and Sweden are to the left of the US, they have attained a sweet spot, more or less, appropriate for their countries. The countries most in trouble have been significantly to the left of their sweet spot, with entitlements, large government, regulations hampering the private sector, and unions having a strong influence, collectively increasing their debt at unsustainable levels. It is true that not every country is in trouble for the same reasons. In Spain, for example, their problems arose from a bubble and collapse of the housing market, but the Socialist party in power responded by trying to spend their way out, which didn't work. The general warning signs should lead us to to reject the policies of the Obama administration.