A day late and a dollar short, but TriSec brings back a nutritious weekend blog!
It's time for a quick quiz. What is the most deeply-seated societal fear held by all Americans, depending on what news source you believe?
It used to be Nuclear War. Maybe it's One World Government. It might be people that don't look like you moving in next door. Maybe it's ISLAM!
It's none of these things. I'm going to say it.
Definition of socialism
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
That's it. Reading history carefully, you could construe that nearly all of our history has been dedicated to that oh-so-American ideal of "rugged individualism". But is it really?
Look at your community. What do you own? Your house, your yard? Some of us don't even own that. Despite living in my home for 23 years, I've never owned it. All of my worldy possessions can fit into a 50 foot box truck with room to spare.
I don't "own" anything that I consider home. I'm not a regular church-goer, but I don't personally "own" the building that I use for Scouts. My son, (and indeed both myself and my wife) are products of public education. I didn't "own' any of those buildings, nor did I personally provide teachers, equipment, supplies, or the basics like food and heat to keep our students warm. I live two blocks from both the Police department and Fire department here in Waltham. Sometimes they have even visited my home for various reasons. I don't "own" a firetruck, or fire hydrants, or police cars, or indeed, even a firearm. Hell, I even mailed an actual letter this past week. (OK, a car payment). I dropped it in a box, and it magically reached its destination. I don't own a mailtruck, or a sorting facility, nor do I have any personal staff to ensure my mail gets to where it needs to go.
This is the great societal conundrum in the United States.
Although not true socialism in the pure definition of the world, we all live in a collective society in these United States. We all make a contribution to the government, local and national, and in return we get things that are for the benefit of all. Oh, there are private alternatives, but just going back to the mail example, it just cost me 55 cents to send my letter about 25 miles to Rockland, MA. FexEx would charge me $8.10 for the same service. How much does private school cost? Personal security? Your own fire department?
All of this is leading to our democratic candidate for President. This past week, Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed her "Medicare for all" plan. It is, 'socialized medicine', as many have derisively called it. I'm not even going to think about how the plan is to be paid for - what it comes down to is priorities.
Here are America's priorities today, if the current political climate is read correctly.
USS Gerald R. Ford AIrcraft Carrier - 12.9 Billion each (2 built)
F-35 Fighter Jet - 82.4 million each (435 built)
B-21 Bomber Program - 564 million each (in-development)
Trump Border Wall - 24.4 million per mile (1,637 miles)
So let's do some quick math - All of those things together add up to 53.4 Trillion dollars.
Elizabeth Warren's plan calls for 20.5 trillion to pay for healthcare for all. That's not even half the cost of building all these things.
As a society, we have decided that the military is the prime consumer of our tax and treasure. It has been since the titanic anti-fascist struggle 80 years ago, and it shows no signs of ever changing.
You do get what you pay for.