I know that this is a fairly long post, but I believe in sharing with friends and this discussion gave me a snapshot of the inner mind of a Socialist.
The following was the chain for a discussion with a classmate that I have in my present Business Communications class. The initial question posed that started this chain was “Why do you feel that you can trust NPR over other media outlets? Why can you not trust other media organizations? If this is true can we change the way we gather and distribute news to our audiences?” I felt you should all see the fight we have ahead of us and the war of the minds we are waging today.
Here is how I started the response chain for the class to this question:
Honestly, why would you trust NPR over the other media news outlets, especially since NPR is National Public Radio and is paid by the Federal Government? That, in my mind, makes them even less trustworthy than any other independent organization because they are beholden to the federal government and the whims of whatever the Fed feels like giving to them depending on how much they support the federal government’s agenda than an independent organization that raises their money the independent and capitalist way, through independent contributions and companies paying money for airtime on their channels via commercial time. When an organization is dependent on an cash cow, visa-vie the Federal government, and the trials and tribulations of that group and how much you toe the line for whatever talking points they demand of their groups that take money from them makes them, in my book, less trustworthy than independent companies that raise their money the old fashioned way, through selling commercial time to private organizations and companies. The independent companies are, in my book, more trustworthy by a long shot, than any organization supported and funded by the federal government, regardless of whatever administration is in charge of them.
This is how Lori (get to love her folks…she’s our Socialist in the left corner in this particular boxing match) responded to my reasonable assertion:
Ian,You said “When an organization is dependent on a cash cow…”
Wouldn’t you agree that the cash cow you are referring to is really capitalism at its best? I mean isn’t that what capitalism is about? It’s all about the money. Whoever has more gets to put their message out there. FOX news operates the way it does and has that rightish slant because Rupert Murdoch owns the organization. He won at the capitalist game and now he gets his own channel to broadcast whatever he wants.
NPR is not owned by the federal government. It’s just called National because it’s well national and it operates on airwaves that are public. NPR is donor supported and that’s how they operate.
Ultimately I believe all organizations are dependent on cash cows- the American consumer.
I had to respond to this dripping with socialism-love nonsense:
I personally believe that you are missing a fundamental aspect to what Capitalism is all about. It’s not about money, but money is partly the motivator (or gasoline if you want to think of it in another fashion). Capitalism, and more specifically the Free Market System, is based on personal choice. It is based on you setting your own personal priorities as to what you want to earn money to buy, what you want to spend, what you feel is important to you and your family, if you have one. In a free market system, you or I could decide that we can do something better than someone else out there and start a business to make it better than them. We could also decide that we want to start a business to become our own boss and do something new, or better, than the rest of the world. The Free market is an extension to the freedoms inherited in all of us by the Natural Laws we were born with and endowed by God with. This is just the economic system version of that.
A market that is controlled by a government, or a planning commission or whatever terminology or group you want to assign there, is a Socialist system and it has the opposite priorities and affects on its citizens than a Free Market system does. When a person believe they can do something better than someone else in the market, or cheaper, or faster, or whatever that betterment may be, a Socialist and top-down controlled system locks that individual out because they are not and their new system is not “Part of the Plan.” Socialism stifles creativity, inventiveness, and the entrepreneurial spirit in much of humanity. There is no incentive to do better because to do so would throw off “the Plan” from the central planning committee, which top-down governments never allow. They never allow these things because in then moves the control from those at the top make the choice to those at the bottom, you and me, in making decisions on what is best for ourselves and the economy. Tyranny’s never allow control to move down, because if they do then they lose control and they will never allow that.
This was not meant as a taking to task. I just want everyone who reads this to understand the fundamental differences in those 2 economic and social philosophies. And NPR is partially subsidized by the Federal Government through federal grants. This can be found on pg. 9 of their 2009 Fiscal budget (http://www.npr.org/about/statements/fy2009/2009_LA_NPR_Cons.pdf). Their operational revenue amount is found on pg. 5.
When you divide that amount the government gives them by their operating revenue, this money accounts for approximately 13% of their overall operating capital. Obviously, this does not make them a Federal mouth piece per se, but when 13% of your operating budget comes from 1 source, you are pretty beholden to them to make sure that money keeps flowing in. Any business that has 1/8th of its operating budget come from one location would jump through hoops to make that customer happy. It just becomes very bad for freedom of speech and differences of opinion when that 1/8th is coming from the government. That’s all I’m saying.
Here is how she countered back:
I would have to disagree with you. Capitalism in theory may be about freedom but it really is about money (CAPITOL=money). In my opinion there are lots of companies who exemplify this, all you have to do is look at the corporate scandals of the last few years. I take offense to your use of using God as a defense for capitalism also. God has nothing to do with all the money hungry hoarders in this world who only care about themselves.
I don’t think Socialism is perfect but I do think there are advantages to that type of system. People in these types of systems tend to do things that actually make them happy rather than what will get them the most money. I for one would love to have lived in a country where we didn’t have to pay out of the nose for an education. Education is something, in my opinion, that can make and break a country.
NPR may be partially subsidized but Chrysler and AIG were both bailed out by the government because if not the country would have gone into a tail spin. I don’t agree with that and I’m sure as a capitalist enthusiast you probably don’t either. I’m curious to know, what would your solution have been?
I really enjoy your perspective Ian. Please don’t misunderstand my posts to you as anything other than an educated discussion.
Notice how she didn’t argue my facts, but went to the tried-and-true tactic of attacking the messenger initially and then say that it was an emergency and we “Had to do it!” I couldn’t let this sit, so here is how I replied:
There are no advantages to a Socialist system, unless you are looking for someone to take all the chances and possibilities of wild success OR failure out of life. The problem with that though is that in order to make sure that everyone is taken care of equally, you must make everyone equal. In order to make everyone equal, you must, by definition, hold people back from achieving too much or being too successful in work, in life, in thought, in ideas, in happiness, in health, in family status or position, in ethics taught by parents to children, in religion, and the list goes on and on and on. All of this “Equality” must be dictated by the state and not by our own personal hopes and dreams. We would no longer be in charge of the dreams and goals we believed we could achieve, by the state would.
Your child could tell you one day that “Mommy…I want to be a doctor someday and help sick boys and girls.” and you would have to follow that childhood dream up with this, “That’s nice sweetie…but the state says we already have enough doctors, so it’s been decided that you will be an auto mechanic because the state says we have a shortage of those.” What kind of parent would that make you? More importantly, is that the world you want to raise your child in?
And Lori, I believed you missed what I was saying about God. I was not saying that God was about money. I was saying that Capitalism is an extension, in an economic sense, of the Natural Laws that were endowed to us by our creator. This is a fundamental concept of what our country is founded on. Without God being at the top, or whatever you believe of as God since it is a personal choice and relationship, then those rights we enjoy are not inherit inside us but given by the state. God must be at the top because if not then those rights are no longer rights but freedoms we were given by a government, and what a government gives, then can take away. Power is supposed to go from God, to you and I, to the government…not the other way around. The former is freedom, while the later is tyranny..
Don’t you see, in order to make all equal, then we must all equally suffer and be restrained from the individual greatness each of us has inside ourselves. This is counter to what we know is the human yearning to achieve greatness and do great things. Socialism holds you back. Capitalism unchains you and says “Go!” And capitalism is not about money, it’s about getting the hell out of someone’s way and saying “You choose your own path to what your dreams are, if you do this right, the world will be your oyster, and we will all be better for your success.” Money is nothing more than the fuel to that fire.
Whether it’s a dollar bill or a pucca shell on an island, we all want to be fairly compensated for the hard work we do. That right now comes in the form of a Dollar. Don’t be angry at the dollar because it is nothing more than a representation of the fair reward for work done. Capitalism equals freedom to dream and strive to make yours and your family’s lives better. Socialism equals accepting your lot in life determined by someone else that doesn’t know, or frankly care, what you dreamed for yourself, and determines what “Freedoms” they LET you have. That’s not freedom at all…that’s slavery, and I thought we fought and died as a people to throw those shackles off. Don’t chain your dreams to the ground in the mud…but give them wings and tell them “fly”
I’m still waiting for her counter-argument to this.
I may be waiting a while.
July 9, 2010 at 10:31 am Comment (1)