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Selfishness of Socialism

April 2009

People accuse capitalism of promoting selfishness, but socialism is worse. Capitalism is a system of voluntary trade between and among individuals with respect for private property rights and freedom of association under the rule of law. The only reason for any government involvement is to settle disputes of contract, and to prosecute acts of theft, fraud, or physical violence. Also, in capitalism there is a “presumption of innocence” that socialism does not have, in which each individual, regardless of one’s wealth or poverty, is presumed innocent and otherwise left alone by the government unless and until the government suspects someone of actual theft or fraud, or of having violated someone else’s life, liberty or property. Throughout the 19th Century, the USA was mostly a capitalist society, but after implementing the income tax, the creation of the Federal Reserve and especially FDR’s “New Deal,” the USA has been  a “mixed economy,” a combination of capitalist policies allowing some freedom and socialist or fascist policies with arbitrary state controls. Actual progress in human rights and prosperity occurred throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, but after the huge expansion of the Federal government (and growth of the states’ governments), there now seems to be a decline in human progress.

Those who say that capitalism caused the 1929 Stock Market Crash and The Great Depression do not know that these situations were the results of government interventions and interferences in private economic activities, particularly by President Hoover—the results of  pathological control freaks needing to intrude in other people’s private lives and businesses. These kinds of ultra-authoritarian government policies that restrict freedom are actually much more out of the selfishness of socialism than are the policies of capitalism that respect the freedom to be creative and productive. The selfishness of the Left who use the official, legal police power of  government to act out their fantasies of helping people, with policies that have done nothing but hurt people, is far worse than the achievements of private citizens acting in their own self-interests which more often result in serving the needs of others.

The entire financial system is in collapse now because of the abuse of power and influence of government officials and their politically connected pals and supporters. And now people call for not only more government controls over private business, but government seizures of private businesses for government bureaucrats to run these businesses. Some examples of such successful endeavors include government’s participation in the home ownership and mortgage industries, via “government sponsored enterprises” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and government-run schools. And now the Left will run the entire health care system—into the ground. If only the multi-billionaires of the left would set up their own privately-run research programs, schools or medical facilities, rather than wasting all the billions on political campaigns, expecting someone else with the officialdom of the state to do it.

All people have to do is study the old Soviet Union, which had been a complete state-owned economy that ended in total collapse. That’s because not only does socialism not respect the rights of individuals to life, liberty and property, but because, in practical terms, it just doesn’t work. Note how as the Soviet Union collapsed, its individual state members declared independence, with each becoming an independent state. Of course, they aren’t perfect, but their citizens are probably freer and more prosperous than they were under Soviet rule. (And note, too, how, as government expands we have seen calls for a merger with the other two North American countries to form a “North American Union” with a single state-issued currency,  the “Amero.” It’s like people will never learn from history that the bigger the state the less free and less prosperous the people are. And this might say something also about whether the state of California, whose government is now on its knees begging for mercy, ought to split into two separate states, a “North California” and a “South California,” each with its own separate state capital and possibly more efficient state government.)

Unfortunately, the concept of “rights” as the American founders intended, that “the individual has a right to one’s own life, liberty and property,” has been reversed by the Left to mean not only does an individual  not have a right to one’s own life, liberty and property, but  has a right to someone else’s life, liberty and property: the right of some people to enslave others, via government force, to serve their own needs—which eventually develops, as we see now, into the needs of politicians, lobbyists, lawyers and Big Business to be served by everyone else. That’s not selfish? Now the Federal government’s current actions are adding trillions to the National Debt, which will further burden future generations of Americans and is literally stealing from our grandchildren’s piggy banks. Now that’s the selfishness of socialism.

Talk Radio and the Fairness Doctrine

April 2009

For some reason,  many talk radio hosts fear return of the Fairness Doctrine, which requires radio and TV broadcast stations to allow opposing or different points of view on the public airwaves. It wouldn’t force Rush Limbaugh to have a Leftist on half his show. Stations that air Limbaugh or other conservatives could include talk hosts of the Left on their station. Currently on WABC in New York, for example, Don Imus’s own show includes diverse points of view, as he frequently interviews conservatives Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and Monica Crowley, as well as Lefties John Kerry and Doris Kearns Goodwin. And conservative Sean Hannity allows people of the Left plenty of time on his show. Imus is also on WTKK in Boston, as are conservatives Michael Graham and Jay Severin who surround Lefties Margery Eagan and Jim Braude. And Michele McPhee herself is a balanced “fiscal conservative, social Liberal.”

I’ve been listeneing to talk radio for 30 years, starting with WOR’s Arlene Francis and Bernard Meltzer, and continuing with WBZ’s Larry Glick. And then in Boston, WRKO’s Jerry Williams, whose show was constantly #1 in the ratings, was my favorite. His show was successful while the Fairness Doctrine was still in place, even though he was very one-sided to the left and always critical of then-President Ronald Reagan. And since most talk radio listeners and callers are generally conservative, he received mostly conservative callers. Jerry lost his temper much of the time because he was very passionate in his left-wing views, and, because he had such a great sense of humor mixed in, he had no problem with calling annoying callers “biddies” and “Nazis.” And when Jerry became more of a “populist” and turned against left-wing then-Governor Michael Dukakis and Massachusetts state government, his ratings continued to be #1, and he was the anchor for the all-#1 WRKO along with Janet Jeghelian and Ted O’Brien, and Gene Burns (now on KGO in San Francisco).

Talk radio is generally not as interesting now as it was in the 1980s, when hosts would include interviews with people outside of politics, such as show-biz celebrities and scientists. Now, while it’s a bit overkill with the politics,  it is still somewhat informative and entertaining. I see Michael Graham as a potential Jerry Williams-like talk host, because he’s similarly passionate in his views and articulate, and has a lot of talent. They both have a similar performance background, with Jerry having been an actor and a singer, and Michael Graham a stand-up comedian. Jim Braude has similar passion in his left-wing views as Jerry Williams, has a background as a lobbyist, and he also seems like someone who doesn’t take any crap from callers. And, if Jim could let his hair down a little, he also can get away with calling a caller a “biddy,” or a “Nazi.”

However, President Obama says he opposes the Fairness Doctrine and calls for “diversity in ownership” of broadcast stations. Does that mean forcing owners such as Entercom and Greater Media to sell a certain number of their stations even if they don’t want to? If so, that kind of policy goes with Obama’s other generally fascist economic proposals. Jerry Williams was very “anti-Establishment,” especially in his anti-Vietnam War, anti-Reagan and anti-Dukakis views. Now, the same anti-Big Government Establishment label can be given to Limbaugh, Graham, and Severin, whether it be Bush’s Big Government or Obama’s Big Government. If Obama wants to take over broadcast stations to use them as White House or Congressional mouthpieces, who will then be advocates for the average citizens? Certainly not government. The Establishment already has most newspapers in its back pocket (That’s why they’re going bankrupt.), much like the old Soviet Union’s Pravda.

I’m glad WBZ had the good sense to bring back Steve LeVeille. Now if we could only bring back Jerry Williams.