04 February 2012

So what do you mean by socialism?

Over at Medicine, Health and History, Paul E Stepansky engages in a bit of historical conjecture and begins to 'unthink' the 'socialism' thing that has fed the beast of American medicine:-  
If we’re going to turn back the clock and recreate a Jacksonian medical universe free of intrusive, expensive, innovation-stifling, rights-abrogating big government, let’s go the full nine yards.  Let’s repudiate the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906, which compelled drug companies to list the ingredients of drugs on the drug labels.  Sure, prior to the act most remedies aimed at children were laced with alcohol, cocaine, opium, and/or heroin, but was this so bad?  At least these tonics, unlike Elixir Sulfanilamide, didn’t kill the kids, and the 1906 Actdid put us on the path to government overregulation.  And, anyway, it’s up to parents, not the federal government, to figure out what their kids ingest.  Let them do their own chemical analyses (or better yet, contract unregulated for-profit labs to do the analyses for them) and slug it out with the drug companies.
Meanwhile - the topic appears to be in the air - Martin Klingst has a bone to pick about this 'socialism' thing too, especially how it translates into anti-European screed:
It is not necessary here to define socialism or to detail the many distinctions between a state-run economy and a social democracy based on a ­free-market system. But those who seek to be president of a global superpower — and may perhaps one day sit at a table with leaders of the Old World — should know a few things: All 27 E.U. members believe, more or less, in mandatory health-care insurance and public education. They believe that government should offer a helping hand to struggling businesses and people during economic downturns. That is why we pay high taxes. It is also true that a number of E.U. countries have irresponsibly expanded their welfare systems and can no longer afford their bills.
However, I think Theda Skocpol has really figured out the definition:-
Initially, we assumed that government spending is the chief irritant for the tea party, but we soon realized that anger about illegal immigrants rivals that concern. With many older men and women (including retirees) making up the movement, its members do not usually point to immigration as a threat against U.S. workers; rather, they are upset at the thought of undocumented children overburdening public schools or illegal immigrants crowding emergency rooms. 

1 comment:

  1. socialism?

    a system where a bunch of slime bag rich people take complete control of the one thing that freedom should stand for: freedom from pain

    think about it - pain - it's the universal leveler - the pain experienced by a Goldman Sachs CEO and the pain experienced by an illegal immigrant are indistinguishable


    we should all have the equal right to be free of pain

    that's where your drugs ref comes in - how come i can not grow opium in my back yard so that i might treat pain without going through an insane system that channels not only my freedom but also a huge part of my money to a system imposed from above?

    Socialism would be a system where if someone grows opium and i'm in pain then i have a right to some of that opium

    capitalism would be a system where if someone grows opium and i'm in pain i can freely negotiate with that person for some opium for my pain

    what we have is a system where the rich get to control everything as if it was socialism so that they get to control things like opium

    by rich i mean middle class and up

    you know - the dumb, selfish, cowardly lot that started off by killing off the natives for their land and ended up killing off the natives in other lands for their oil

    ie you and me


    it has no meaning whatsoever except as a bogeyman used by other bogeymen to frighten children into going along with our incredibly mindless game