June 23, 2019
Hubris thinks it’s against the rules for me to clean out his corral and not take him for a ride afterwards. So, early last Sunday evening, after all the ranch chores were done, I saddled him up and with a hearty shout of Hi, Ho Hubris, Away! -we were off on the ditch bank along the Rio Grande for a late spring ride. This is one of the nicest seasons in New Mexico for horseback riding. The days are hot but the evenings are cool and the bushes and trees along the river are at their greenest—and healthiest. The Rio is running hard and full from the beginning of the late spring run-off from the still snow covered Rockies. Hubris is happy, nature is happy, and I’m happy—and it isn’t even cocktail time yet!
I have to admit that I’m a lot happier riding Hubris than I am when thinking about our current political mess. Our Great Chief just announced his intention to re-run his “Make America Hate Again” 2016 campaign for the 2020 contest and the left’s field of candidates seems to get more confused and complex every day. The debates start next week and, maybe, just like the Women’s World Cup Football (Soccer, in American English) contest, after the first two or three rounds the field will be narrowed by 50% or more as we go into the ‘sudden death’ portion of the 2020 Chief and Vice-Chief contest. Sudden death occurs when a candidate sticks his or her foot into his or her mouth or shoots themselves in both feet during a debate or media interview—thus revealing their true character. This is American Theatre at its finest! We are really lucky it happens only once every four years. I expect the DNC will do its best to fix this nomination contest once again. Keep your eyes on Uncle Joe. If he knocks himself down (which he is known to do very frequently), I expect the DNC will stand him up again. Meanwhile, our National Debt continues to increase at an astronomical rate. As long as the Fed keeps printing phony money, Jane and I can keep drinking Bombay Sapphire gin and Stoles vodka. But, if they either print faster or stop printing, the ‘stuff’ is going to hit the fan. Then, watch out!
I’ve about given up hope that at least one of the new left candidates will explain the difference between ‘Socialism’ and ‘social welfare’. The far right is having a field day branding any candidate a ‘Socialist” who mentions the word ‘free’ in conjunction with anything such as medical care, higher education or retirement benefits. Even our present Social Security program is being thrown under the ‘Socialism’ bus. Nothing about any of these programs is intended to be ‘free’. They are to be paid for out of income taxes or, as our present Social Security is and was intended to be funded, out of workers savings deposits matched with employer contributions during their working years. If Social Security isn’t paying its own way, don’t blame the workers who paid into it, blame the stupid politicians who started manipulating it and the foolish electorate who voted for them.
According to Wikipedia, Socialism is defined (simply) as: an economic and political system where the ways and means of making a living (factories, offices, etc.) are owned by the workers who run them and the people who depend on them, meaning: the value made by those assets belongs to the people who make it, instead of a group of private owners (i.e., Capitalists).
Finding an exact definition of the concept of a governmental Social Welfare policy is a bit more difficult but the bottom line is that the government enacts laws and rules that help to improve the lives of all the people in the community or special groups who are disadvantaged by the nature of their birth, health, race or gender. Providing better health care, at a lower cost, to all the people in a community is an example of a possible govern mentally directed social welfare program. Providing a quality education to all citizens who qualify for it is another example. Having a healthy and educated electorate is essential to an advanced society and if it takes governmental mandate to achieve those goals—so be it!
Although the nomination contest is just beginning, I have yet to hear any left wing candidate call for the peoples’ ownership of the assets of production. That would really be Socialism. What I hear is outrage at the raw greed of UN-regulated capitalism. That’s a just and fair response to a system gone haywire because of immoral and irresponsible government ‘leadership’. Just like the ownership of slaves (considered a normative in any truly capitalistic system) led to the Civil War and the emancipation proclamation, today’s income disparity and the avarice and greed of the 1 Per-centers will need to be counterbalanced by a shift to leftward governmental social welfare legislation. Let’s just hope the shift will restore balance to our social fabric and will be based on responsible (for the welfare of our entire society) decision making. I see no reason why the United States of America can’t have a free enterprise system wherein performance is fairly rewarded and the health, education and welfare of our entire society cannot be improved. No small task, but social welfare isn’t socialism, it’s just dam good sense—as long as it is done responsibly!
Copyright 6/23/2019, Louis J. Christen