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Old 03-05-2014, 08:33 PM   #26
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

The word socialism is just too toxic. Between the USSR, and Nazi (national socialism) the word has just been tainted.

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Old 03-05-2014, 08:57 PM   #27
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The word socialism is just too toxic. Between the USSR, and Nazi (national socialism) the word has just been tainted.
Only in the US, socialist parties that successfully in other countries. Other countries are able to tell the different between what the USSR did in the name of socialism and policies of a Social Democrat party, why can't Americans do the same? Lots of bad things were done in the name of Jesus Christ, do most people think Christianity is toxic? I think the problem is anything left of certain gets turned into a curse word of the right wing in the US, at one point the word liberal was being used as a negative by conservatives in the US, too many conservatives think only the right wing is normal and main stream in the US and think anything left of center is too radical. I think that's why the word socialist is toxic in the US, because people in other countries can tell the difference between socialism found in North Koran and socialism found in Norway. Same name, very different policies.

Plus associating the Nazis with other types of socialists is kinda of ignorant. The Social Democrats were only the party to vote against Hitler's Enabling Act and the full name of the Nazi party was "The National Socialist German Workers Party". In Germany in the 20s, Socialists and Workers were left wing terms for a party, while German and National were right wing terms for a party. It would be like a party named the Conservative Socialist Libertarian Liberal Party, it threw in as many words to achieve as board support it is it could. Hitler threw in the word Socialist to take away working class support from the communists, but he was not a socialist, he even spoke up against class warfare now and again. He was also a far more radical anti Marxist then any US President, no US President ever had the gall to actually invade the USSR.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:07 PM   #28
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

To address the OP's topic of health care specifically, universal health care is by no means "socialist". It is a ridiculous statement spread by right-wing American politicians, as are all the myths of Canada's "suffering" at the hands of it.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:09 PM   #29
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

Well, given the question, I kind of assumed we meant America.

And it may be another assumption, but I doubt the average American knows anything about 20th century German political parties. Hell, I doubt the average American knows anything about Norway's political system. Or you know, the name of its capital.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:25 PM   #30
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

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Well, given the question, I kind of assumed we meant America.

And it may be another assumption, but I doubt the average American knows anything about 20th century German political parties. Hell, I doubt the average American knows anything about Norway's political system. Or you know, the name of its capital.

Oh come on, give Americans some credit, everybody can point to Asgard on a map by now, thanks to all those Kevin Feige documentaries.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:46 PM   #31
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

I think the basic reason is simply because it is using someone else's money to fund the life of another in order to reach an equality that in reality really can't be reached.

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Old 03-05-2014, 10:41 PM   #32
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

It's really not equality, it's just saying "everyone wants to be educated, with healthcare, and safety from starvation so why don't we a funnel our resources to provide those things for everybody?"

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Old 03-05-2014, 10:44 PM   #33
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There are a lot of people who simply do not care about others.

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Old 03-05-2014, 11:10 PM   #34
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I think the basic reason is simply because it is using someone else's money to fund the life of another in order to reach an equality that in reality really can't be reached.
If that's true, why do Social Democracies in Scandinavia have a really great standard of living? Those countries often beat in the US in terms of having better Health Care and Education and even beat the US in certain areas of political freedom, the press is more free in Norway, then it is in the US, according to this index:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index

I think the problem is people in America associate socialism both a Social Democracy like Norway and a Red Fascist State like North Korea and right winger conspiracy theorists seem to assume one leads to the other.

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Old 03-06-2014, 12:49 AM   #35
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

That's great for Scandinavia, I just can't see it working in America.

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Old 03-06-2014, 12:59 AM   #36
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That's great for Scandinavia, I just can't see it working in America.
Maybe, maybe not. But maybe more Americans should be more open to learning from other countries. I do think some Americans take the idea "America is the greatest country in the world" idea to an extreme, where they see no value in seeing what other countries do and see whether they have good ideas or not.

Yes just because something works in Norway, doesn't mean it would work in America, that doesn't mean Norway doesn't have some good ideas worth looking at.


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Old 03-06-2014, 01:06 AM   #37
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Oh I agree. But this is the country that refuses to adopt the metric system on principal. You have your work cut out for you with socialism.

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Old 03-06-2014, 07:57 AM   #38
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

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I would argue their is the same amount of idealism that capitalism can work perfectly as socialism
I'm not exactly advocating capitalism in my posts. Hell, I'm even fully willing to admit that my personal ideology of libertarianism is based more on idealism than practical reality. I see many socialist youths in the same manner. Idealists who haven't been dragged down by bitter reality yet.

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Old 03-06-2014, 10:08 AM   #39
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If that's true, why do Social Democracies in Scandinavia have a really great standard of living? Those countries often beat in the US in terms of having better Health Care and Education and even beat the US in certain areas of political freedom, the press is more free in Norway, then it is in the US, according to this index:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index

I think the problem is people in America associate socialism both a Social Democracy like Norway and a Red Fascist State like North Korea and right winger conspiracy theorists seem to assume one leads to the other.
Sweden would be the poorest state in the country with a median income of $26,000 according to OECD compared to the median income in the U.S. which is $31,000 and this is before taxes and given that Sweden has much higher taxes than the U.S. that's even less take home money. Out of the Nordic countries I believe only Norway has a lower unemployment rate than the United States. I'm not so sure that's a great way to measure political freedom of the press, it is just a questionnaire. It's more a measure of as a member of the press how free do you feel? A lot of different variables could go into their responses especially when you are dealing with different cultures and different countries.


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Old 03-06-2014, 10:18 AM   #40
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

Standard of living metrics are an average or a mean, and like any statistic it conceals as much as it reveals.

The problem with European-style socialism is that it slows the velocity of capital, and limits the capacity of upward or downward mobility. In practice, it means the poor, though with great social programs to help ameliorate this poverty, generally remain poor nonetheless, generation after generation.

This is particularly true for immigrant groups of racial minorities, which I am especially sensitive to. If Canada was a consistently socialist country, I'd be washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant right now instead of typing this post at a desk in a well-heated office tower.

One telling thing about the US is that the highest earning ethnic groups (again with the stats, so sue me) are immigrant racial minority groups: Chinese and Indian Americans. No other country in the G7 can boast this, not even Canada.

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Old 03-06-2014, 10:38 AM   #41
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Standard of living metrics are an average or a mean, and like any statistic it conceals as much as it reveals.

The problem with European-style socialism is that it slows the velocity of capital, and limits the capacity of upward or downward mobility. In practice, it means the poor, though with great social programs to help ameliorate this poverty, generally remain poor nonetheless, generation after generation.

This is particularly true for immigrant groups of racial minorities, which I am especially sensitive to. If Canada was a consistently socialist country, I'd be washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant right now instead of typing this post at a desk in a well-heated office tower.

One telling thing about the US is that the highest earning ethnic groups (again with the stats, so sue me) are immigrant racial minority groups: Chinese and Indian Americans. No other country in the G7 can boast this, not even Canada.
In this regard, America's problem's with social mobility can be fixed without expanding government services and raising tax rates. Much of it has to do with our history of racism unfortunately. There are large cities in the U.S. whose upward mobility are similar to countries like Denmark, this shows that our policies can work, but when looking at the problem we find two huge culprits hindering upward mobility in America. 1. family and sense of community. This is why Salt Lake City has some of the highest upward mobility in the nation. It has a strong sense of community due to the Mormon faith and has very few single parents when compared to the rest of the nation. This is an issue I have with atheism, is that it lacks that sense of community that religion can help create. I remember watching Bill Maher once and he had an atheist on who was trying to establish little atheist community outreach groups which seemed like a good idea. 2. Racial segregation. Many places that have poorer upward mobility have very racially distinct population groups. One living in one area of town and another living in the other. The problem is the minority groups tend to be placed in worse schools which in turn leads to a worse opportunity to move upward. School vouchers would seem to alleviate this problem as it would make people more mobile and able to seek out better schools instead of being stuck in what essentially is a segregated school. Our education system still shows the vestiges of our segregational past and vouchers can help end that.

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Old 03-06-2014, 02:05 PM   #42
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

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If that's true, why do Social Democracies in Scandinavia have a really great standard of living? Those countries often beat in the US in terms of having better Health Care and Education and even beat the US in certain areas of political freedom, the press is more free in Norway, then it is in the US, according to this index:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index

I think the problem is people in America associate socialism both a Social Democracy like Norway and a Red Fascist State like North Korea and right winger conspiracy theorists seem to assume one leads to the other.

I am speaking of people's view of Socialism, they take their view from what I stated. You are correct in your second statement.

I wasn't giving a definition of Socialism, I was simply stating ther perception of Socialism to many here in the US. We see it in how it is taught in schools etc.

Perception is people's truth....whether it is exactly correct or not.

As to some of the other comments, yes it may come off as selfish. But I do not work my ass off for others, I work my ass off to provide for myself, and my retirement. I give to charities, several in fact, and THAT is how I believe that "my money" should be spent. I have no problem with taxes being spent on entitlement programs as long as those programs are spending that money effectively and efficiently. Forgive me if I don't believe government can do that....I'm a teacher, I see the inefficient and ineffective use of my tax dollars on a daily basis. : / It's called "public education".

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Old 03-06-2014, 02:35 PM   #43
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Forgive me if I don't believe government can do that....I'm a teacher, I see the inefficient and ineffective use of my tax dollars on a daily basis. : / It's called "public education".
This imo is why Socialism has a bad reputation in America. Americans have a fundamental distrust of government it's always been there since day 1 and it's not just that they feel that growth in government will curb their freedoms, but that government is inefficient. Also let's take a look at how most Americans interact with government. Once they've reached adulthood the only time they really feel the presence of government is when they use the post office, the DMV, or the IRS when they file taxes. None of these are exactly adored by the American public or deemed as being efficient. To illustrate the point, I had a friend that was going to school in France during the government shut down here and many of his European friends (many of which were from Nordic countries) were amazed that the government was shut down and wondered how people were going through their daily lives. My friend had to sort of explain to them that we don't really deal with government in our daily life that often, especially at the federal level.

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Old 03-06-2014, 03:03 PM   #44
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This imo is why Socialism has a bad reputation in America. Americans have a fundamental distrust of government it's always been there since day 1 and it's not just that they feel that growth in government will curb their freedoms, but that government is inefficient. Also let's take a look at how most Americans interact with government. Once they've reached adulthood the only time they really feel the presence of government is when they use the post office, the DMV, or the IRS when they file taxes. None of these are exactly adored by the American public or deemed as being efficient. To illustrate the point, I had a friend that was going to school in France during the government shut down here and many of his European friends (many of which were from Nordic countries) were amazed that the government was shut down and wondered how people were going through their daily lives. My friend had to sort of explain to them that we don't really deal with government in our daily life that often, especially at the federal level.
Blame it on the Enlightenment Period of Europe

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Old 03-06-2014, 03:44 PM   #45
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I am speaking of people's view of Socialism, they take their view from what I stated. You are correct in your second statement.

I wasn't giving a definition of Socialism, I was simply stating ther perception of Socialism to many here in the US. We see it in how it is taught in schools etc.

Perception is people's truth....whether it is exactly correct or not.

As to some of the other comments, yes it may come off as selfish. But I do not work my ass off for others, I work my ass off to provide for myself, and my retirement. I give to charities, several in fact, and THAT is how I believe that "my money" should be spent. I have no problem with taxes being spent on entitlement programs as long as those programs are spending that money effectively and efficiently. Forgive me if I don't believe government can do that....I'm a teacher, I see the inefficient and ineffective use of my tax dollars on a daily basis. : / It's called "public education".
Its often how you spend your money, rather then how much money you spend. The Nordic countries have some of the best education systems in the world and a much smaller tax base then the US. The Nordic countries just seem have more competent government bureaucracies. These countries have a mixed economy and they seem to be doing fine, for the most part. You have spend money and spend it well to make something work right, underfunding it can be bad, but just throwing money at something is not very good either. So The Nordic countries have a mixed economy, but they often try to get more bang for their buck.


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Sweden would be the poorest state in the country with a median income of $26,000 according to OECD compared to the median income in the U.S. which is $31,000 and this is before taxes and given that Sweden has much higher taxes than the U.S. that's even less take home money. Out of the Nordic countries I believe only Norway has a lower unemployment rate than the United States. I'm not so sure that's a great way to measure political freedom of the press, it is just a questionnaire. It's more a measure of as a member of the press how free do you feel? A lot of different variables could go into their responses especially when you are dealing with different cultures and different countries.

Norway has a higher medium income then the US. Also both Norway and Sweden have a better education system, better health care system, lower crime rate, cleaner environment and far less income equality then the US. Not everything is about lower taxes either, Russia has a lower tax rate then the US, I'm not sure how many people here would say Russia is better off then the US in terms of economy or political freedom. Also why do reports in Nordic countries feel more free then people in other countries. Heck do Norway or Sweden have giant failed cities like Detroit? Also do the governments of Norway or Sweden spy on their people? Because we know the US government does. Really where is this evil socialist oppression in the Nordic countries? You don't see a stream of people from those countries trying to escape to the US. I'm just looking at the stats and most stats put these Nordic countries above the US in many areas.


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Old 03-06-2014, 05:16 PM   #46
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To address the OP's topic of health care specifically, universal health care is by no means "socialist".
Depending on the system that the country has implemented. Socialism is a system where the government owns the means of production in an industry. Take the United Kingdom for example where the government essentially owns and operates the hospitals and all the staff are essentially government employees. In a system where universal health care where the government has complete control of how health care is managed and operated and distributed by the government, that's straight up socialism. However in nations with universal health care where there is a private/public mix such as Switzerland, Japan, or Germany, no, it isn't socialism.

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Old 03-06-2014, 05:31 PM   #47
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Then maybe this faux socialism is the best of both worlds. Really, the Scandinavian countries have some of the standards of living in the world and I'm not sure how many rational people would call them actively oppressive societies.
While the social democratic system works in the Nordic Countries, I don't think it's a system where one size fits all.

The Nordic Countries really benefit from having really small populations (none of them go above 10 million), which makes a universal health care system really easy to manage. Compare that to the United States with a population of over 300 million. The Nordic Countries benefit from having much better diets than Americans, the awful American diet has really plagued our health care system with problems associated with obesity, something that universal health care isn't going to fix.

And culturally, the people in the Nordic Countries are much more willing to accept the costs of maintaining a high quality health care system as opposed to Americans. Politicians do not have the stomach to raise the necessary revenues to maintain a high quality universal health care system and Americans just don't like paying taxes in general. Hell, we gained our independence simply because we didn't like paying our taxes.

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Old 03-06-2014, 05:37 PM   #48
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Its often how you spend your money, rather then how much money you spend. The Nordic countries have some of the best education systems in the world and a much smaller tax base then the US. The Nordic countries just seem have more competent government bureaucracies. These countries have a mixed economy and they seem to be doing fine, for the most part. You have spend money and spend it well to make something work right, underfunding it can be bad, but just throwing money at something is not very good either. So The Nordic countries have a mixed economy, but they often try to get more bang for their buck.





Norway has a higher medium income then the US. Also both Norway and Sweden have a better education system, better health care system, lower crime rate, cleaner environment and far less income equality then the US. Not everything is about lower taxes either, Russia has a lower tax rate then the US, I'm not sure how many people here would say Russia is better off then the US in terms of economy or political freedom. Also why do reports in Nordic countries feel more free then people in other countries. Heck do Norway or Sweden have giant failed cities like Detroit? Also do the governments of Norway or Sweden spy on their people? Because we know the US government does. Really where is this evil socialist oppression in the Nordic countries? You don't see a stream of people from those countries trying to escape to the US. I'm just looking at the stats and most stats put these Nordic countries above the US in many areas.
Norway does not have a higher median income than the U.S. America has a $38,000 median income and Norway's is $31,000. That's before taxes so again the difference is actually much larger. Just for future reference nobody has a higher median income than the United States. That's according to the OECD. http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/income/ . As you can see none of the Nordic countries are in the top 10 in that category. America has a higher life expectancy than Denmark which is a big indicator of health care. What stats are these, I'm just curious. Only one country has lower unemployment, they don't make as much money, some have lower life expectancies than in America. I'm really not seeing it, they do have better education. I think I already pointed out that we spend more per pupil than them though, so it's not spending that is the problem.


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Old 03-06-2014, 06:47 PM   #49
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Norway does not have a higher median income than the U.S. America has a $38,000 median income and Norway's is $31,000. That's before taxes so again the difference is actually much larger. Just for future reference nobody has a higher median income than the United States. That's according to the OECD. http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/income/ . As you can see none of the Nordic countries are in the top 10 in that category. America has a higher life expectancy than Denmark which is a big indicator of health care. What stats are these, I'm just curious. Only one country has lower unemployment, they don't make as much money, some have lower life expectancies than in America. I'm really not seeing it, they do have better education. I think I already pointed out that we spend more per pupil than them though, so it's not spending that is the problem.
I stand corrected, but you are incorrect as well, Norway is in the top ten:

http://www.therichest.com/business/t...er-country/13/

The WHO ranks a lot of countries better then the US in terms of health care systems then the US:

http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian...ealth-systems/

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar...d-last/267045/

So exactly how does the US have a better health care system then those countries?

Those countries also have a far lower crime rate then the US. In a happiness index, these countries beat the US:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archive...ous-countries/

I stand by my statement that many of the Social Democratic countries beat in the US in many key areas. In terms of education, health care, safety, clean environment, etc. If the US is the best country in the world why are these countries ahead in these areas?

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While the social democratic system works in the Nordic Countries, I don't think it's a system where one size fits all.

The Nordic Countries really benefit from having really small populations (none of them go above 10 million), which makes a universal health care system really easy to manage. Compare that to the United States with a population of over 300 million. The Nordic Countries benefit from having much better diets than Americans, the awful American diet has really plagued our health care system with problems associated with obesity, something that universal health care isn't going to fix.

And culturally, the people in the Nordic Countries are much more willing to accept the costs of maintaining a high quality health care system as opposed to Americans. Politicians do not have the stomach to raise the necessary revenues to maintain a high quality universal health care system and Americans just don't like paying taxes in general. Hell, we gained our independence simply because we didn't like paying our taxes.
I'm not saying you can apply something in Norway in the US, that would be silly. But it wouldn't hurt to look at countries to see what they are doing, rather then dismissing everything they do out of hand. Like I said there is a right wing spin machine in the US, that tries to deem anything left of center as radical and out of the mainstream, though the machine is not what it used be, with the Republicans themselves becoming very radical. When have the likes of Glenn Beck saying many sort of left of center policy will lead to Stalinism, its hard to have a rational debate. Some conservatives in the US take the slippery slope argument to insane degrees and imply that a Social Democracy like Norway will lead to a Red Fascist like North Korea or indeed anything left of center will lead to a red fascist state.


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Old 03-06-2014, 06:57 PM   #50
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Default Re: Why Does Socialism Have a Negative Connotation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippie_hunter View Post
While the social democratic system works in the Nordic Countries, I don't think it's a system where one size fits all.

The Nordic Countries really benefit from having really small populations (none of them go above 10 million), which makes a universal health care system really easy to manage. Compare that to the United States with a population of over 300 million. The Nordic Countries benefit from having much better diets than Americans, the awful American diet has really plagued our health care system with problems associated with obesity, something that universal health care isn't going to fix.

And culturally, the people in the Nordic Countries are much more willing to accept the costs of maintaining a high quality health care system as opposed to Americans. Politicians do not have the stomach to raise the necessary revenues to maintain a high quality universal health care system and Americans just don't like paying taxes in general. Hell, we gained our independence simply because we didn't like paying our taxes.
This is why I always thought the argument that ACA is much like what Romney did in Massachusetts therefore it's ok, such a silly argument .

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