Scotties Toy Box

December 17, 2019

Civics lesson for your conservative family members

Filed under: Cartoons, Ideas, Memes, News, Political, Questions — Scottie @ 07:41

Civics lesson for your conservative family members.


  1. Socialism doesn’t “benefit” society as a “whole” if it can only operate by taking money from one individual and giving it to another. Some people (in our supposedly “free country”) don’t need food stamps, but they are forced to pay for them through their taxes, even though they may not want to. This is called theft (as I have explained before), and it never is beneficial to society as a “whole!”


    Comment by Dylan Shetler — December 17, 2019 @ 13:58

    • Hello Dylan. Did you even read the list? I find it simplistic and lack of thought to say democratic socialism is ” … by taking money from one individual and giving it to another”. That is not what is happening and any person who wants to think on it for a few minutes will realize that. Sorry to be so blunt about it Dylan but that is a complete misrepresentation of what democratic socialism is and what it does. Yes our system is a weak democratic socialism that needs to reign in capitalism a bunch more. We have discussed the greater good and what living in a society requires. We have already discussed that one persons not needed program is another persons much needed one. I sent you the link showing the SCOTUS ruled it is legal and proper to make people pay taxes even if they object to some things the government spends tax money on. It is not theft to pay your taxes and those taxes used for things you may not use or need. For example people with out children in school still pay local and federal taxes to pay for schools for the greater good of our country. I think you can not deny that the things listed on that meme are beneficial to the country and are needed. Instead of me spending a couple hours researching things and providing you link, you explain to me how our country would be better with starving people dying all around us? You explain to me how it makes our country better with crumbling bridges and unusable unmaintained roads? How about you explain to me how things will be better when we have no social safety nets and commonly funded projects, when fire and police are private paid for as fee services offered only to those who can pay the most. If you need examples to draw on try the great depression and the time before many of the social programs came into play. Look up the Pinkerton agency and read how they were used as private police to enforce the will of private wealthy corporations. The country was not a good or fun place to live in those times. Most people lived short miserable lives with out hardly anything in them. We realized as a nation we could do better. When you look at the countries best rated in the world at everything from education, life expectancy, healthcare results, simple happiness you find the US is not in the the top rankings and those countries with strong social democracies are. These are not emotions nor talking points I am sharing with you, they are facts, data, well documented and studied. You may hear a sound bite that seems true when repeated, but socialism is theft is simply not true, it is an emotional response not related to the truth. Give a thought to the data please, it does show the difference between a successful country and a country headed to failure.

      Have a great holiday and enjoy your Christmas. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Scottie — December 17, 2019 @ 14:37

      • Simply because the SCOTUS ruled that it is “legal and proper to make people pay taxes” doesn’t make them “morally right.” You should know this Scottie, people in America held slaves not so long ago, but eventually the word finally got out, that slavery is an inherent EVIL that strips individuals of their life and liberty. For years we held slaves, and for years we were wrong, we didn’t realize how EVIL the actions we administered truly were. You asked me to explain how our country would be better with “starving people dying all around us?” Well, it wouldn’t be better, and I’m not saying that Is what we should do, but we should find other solutions regarding the “fixing” of these issues. I think I have asked you this question before, “why is the lefts only solution to curing social matters involve welfare programs that end up being subsidized by the taxpayers?” You haven’t answered this question Scottie? Do you not think for yourself? Ask yourself these basic questions, lets say on the issue of social security, “Why don’t enough Americans have retirement plans?” “Why are Americans in more debt than ever before?” “Why are our parents better at saving money than us?” “Why can’t individuals save money for their retirement?”

        It drives me insane that the left only knows one way to fix social problems, and it never involves acknowledging the “root” of the problem. Here’s a good one, “why are black men 7% of the population, yet they occupy 50% of the prisons?” The left’s answer to this pertains to “institutional racism”, while my answer revolves around the root of the problem, “what is causing black men to end up in prison?”

        Anyway Scottie, when you wish to explain to me how socialism is “not theft”, and how I’m completely wrong for thinking that taking someone else’s money to provide a commodity to another Individual is theft, then we can have a real discussion. But if you are simply going to use the “European argument” that paints socialism in glitter by emphasizing it’s success in a variety of small countries, we can’t have a rational conversation, because those countries are not the United States. The truth is Scottie, whatever the people do, is what will happen. If the people elect a Democrat in 2020, they will receive what the voted for, but If Trump wins again, then socialism becomes irrelevant for a little longer.

        Merry Christmas Scottie,



        Comment by Dylan Shetler — December 17, 2019 @ 15:31

        • Hello Dylan. Ah we agree on something. I was speaking in a legal sense, but you are correct, legal rulings do not make things moral or even immoral. Well Dylan the reason I thought I has answered your question about why the best fix to social problems is often the government but let us talk about it some more. Large problems require a large solution. There is no larger entity in the US than the government from local and state to the Federal level. While regional solutions often can apply specific fixes the funding normally must come from a shared pot where everyone contributes and communities take from the pot based on their need. These problems are not new, they did not suddenly appear in our time, they have been around for the entire age of man in every civilization. Different governments have tried different ways to fix them. The object is not to simply give out free money, it is to alleviate a problem. Take homelessness. Most homeless are not mentally ill despite taking points. Many simply can not find enough work with enough income to pay for lodgings. There are two solutions that could and have worked well. I have posted on how one state simply gave housing to those disabled who needed it. It reduced a lot of the homeless problem, and it saved the state money it was spending deal with the homeless. That state was Utah. I have read of places that make small portable trailers for the homeless to use keeping them out of business door fronts. I also just listen to a great way to house and care for every homeless person , everyone of them. Take the asylum seekers and the immigrants now in custody in federal camps and tent cities, give them court dates ( yes most of them show up for court the rate is between 88 and 92 percent ) and house the homeless in these places. Give them healthcare, training in job skills, treat them if they need it, and you have a solution to a problem. Again big problems take big solutions and government at all levels is basically the biggest agency.

          OK lets take Social Security and the need for it. Why do people in the US not have retirement plans. Well they did when the country was seeing its best growth and the creation of the middle class. It was called defined benefit plans and your employer paid into them. When you retired you had a shit ton of money to draw on. However corporate greed killed it. Corporations stopped covering them, switched first to 401K’s and now simply offer nothing. Which takes us back to the depression. See we had a problem in our country, when we had most of our people living on farms they were multi-generational. Everyone in the family lived together and got fed and sheltered that way. When or if the farm when bust many simply did not make it. During the great depression people simply starved or died by exposure to the elements. You think we have a homeless problem now, it was worse back then. Well why did people not put money away for themselves you might ask. Because the income did not equal the needed out going. Simply put wages were too low and people couldn’t work enough to make enough to pay for what they needed. That left nothing to save. Same situation we are in now. With the cost of everything raising and wages stagnate for decades incomes simply can not be stretched far enough to cover needs. That is why we had to have the minimum wage raised to at least $15 dollars and in some places higher. I think I already explained to you the different in what wages could buy in the 1980’s compared to now. Lets do it again using 1990 as a start.

          According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today’s prices in 2019 are 96.79% higher than average prices since 1990. The U.S. dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.36% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.

          In other words, $40,000 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $78,717.06 in 2019, a difference of $38,717.06 over 29 years.

          The interesting thing is back then $40 K was a good middle class income. Today it is not middle class at all. So it is hard to get ahead and have a savings when you are working poor.

          Dylan I try to deal with facts not talking points. Your question about blacks and prison is drastically uninformed. Take some time to look at the social inequalities and the deliberate attempts to imprison POC before you make a causal argument. It is not that black were committing more crimes, it is they are arrested and punished for it much more than whites. For example. Whites and blacks use marijuana at the same rate, yet 75% more black people got arrested and charged for it. White people get lower bail and lower sentences, often probation, not so for black people. Do you know the congress made drug laws that targeted black people with things like 10 year sentences for crack cocaine but powder cocaine was a sentenced a much reduced level. Why? Well normally it was white people using the powdered form and black people using the hard rock form. So Dylan I agree with you, lets get to the root of the problem and not use unsupported talking points. You can google this stuff and I suggest you do so. There is no inherent criminal difference between blacks and whites. Here are some references for you. and I found this longer one much more informative. It seems the difference in incarceration rates between whites and black is shrinking and has been as white people have started to suffer more and more from poverty. So it seems the largest prevention of crime it to alleviate poverty. So yes Dylan it gets me a bit frustrated when people will not investigate and use the information out there to look at the problems and the well known research into the causes and how to fix them.

          OK So you think only the US can have good ideas? Or are you saying good ideas can not work in the US. Both are wrong. We have borrowed much from European countries and they have borrowed some things from us. Well we have covered the idea that strong governments make for a country where prosperity can grow. We have covered why weak governments causes countries to fail. So lets take wealth redistribution. All economic systems have some sort of redistribution of wealth in the circulation of capital. Capitalism with out constraint is the redistribution of wealth to the highest levels as fast as possible. Think corporate raiders such as Mitt Romney who got wealthy by buying a company, raiding all its assets, taking loans out in its name and saddling it with debt, then dumping it or closing the business putting all the workers out of a job, and leaving all the companies debts unpaid. Nasty way to make a fortune. Right now in the US we have a wealth redistribution that is about the same. I did send you the figures on the largest welfare recipients from the US government were large wealthy corporation in the oil and gas energy sectors. Why is this OK but food assistance for poor people not? Why is that not theft?

          You are confusing socialism with social democracy. They do that in right wing media as it makes social democracies sound scarier.

          Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers’ self-management as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. Wikipedia

          Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented economy. Wikipedia

          So simply put social democracy in its weakest form is what we have now. Social democracy in a stronger form was what we had in the 1950-1970’s when things were much better for the general public. We had a much more progressive tax structure then. Our own history shows this. So you want to have a rational conversation then lets use facts. What progressives are trying to do is return to when things were better for the majority of the people by regulating capitalism as we did in the past and using examples of proven programs that are working in other countries. If tRump wins another term we will still be a social democracy just a much weaker one. The fact again shown by history is when capitalism is unrestrained it eats it self by destroying all the lower incomes until the system has to be reset by revolt. You want to save capitalism in the US, regulate it.

          Well this is long enough. I feel I covered your points and added to mine. I look forward to your reply after you think on what I wrote and you ponder the data and the facts I included. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Scottie — December 17, 2019 @ 17:09

  2. Thanks Scottie for the rather lengthy response, I apologize if I sometimes seem to reply in less words than you (this is because time only permits me to do this so long). Anyway…

    I believe the reason we disagree so often, Is possibly due to the fact that our beliefs are significantly different about the role of the government, after all how can you have an economy without a government?

    Let’s begin with where I stand regarding the role of the government, but prior to this, what is society? Society is produced by our “wants”, and government by our tribalistic nature. If you don’t believe we have a tribalistic nature, you’ve never dealt with children. Furthermore, society promotes our happiness “positively” by uniting our commonalities, and the government serves as an oppressor by negatively restraining our immoralities. As Thomas Paine says, “society in every state is a blessing, but government even in it’s best state is but a necessary evil.”

    After establishing the role of government and properly defining society, we must now discuss economic philosophy. First you’ve got equality of opportunity, which (radicals describe to mean) : every person within a free society has the same level of opportunity to pursue things (jobs, careers, positions, etc…) as everyone else. Progressives (I will utilize their preferred label), tend to make the case that some opportunities are restricted to certain groups of individuals, they use terms like “institutional racism”, “the gender pay gap”, and much more. But in reality, there is no such thing as equality of opportunity. Some people are smart, some people are dumb, some people are tall, and some people are short, and these all pretty much determine the things you can qualify for and do in a free society. The only place I believe equality of opportunity should exist, is in equal rights. I think we can agree that everyone should have the same access to the rights cemented throughout the entire constitution, and anyone that doesn’t I would consider to be oppressed. Then there is “equality of outcome”, which is another political ideology that stipulates everything would be better if we all had the same outcomes, but this isn’t true either. We are all biologically and socially different (as I previously noted), and that would mean in order to get everyone in a given society to generate the same outcomes, an outside force (undoubtedly a government) would need to step in and regulate some individuals from achieving too much, and give to those whom have too little. This, I suppose, you could just call Utopia, as these ideas have somewhat been tried before.

    Now we get to fundamentals of the economy. In America today, 4 in 10 people support some form of “socialism.” Obviously there is much confusion as to what the word means, you say that I don’t understand it because you assume that I regularly watch right-wing media content that in your perspective “makes social democracies sound scarier.” But, whatever the case be, it is thoroughly different than capitalism, or else there wouldn’t be an ongoing debate about it right now.

    Ok, (I have to get off now) let me know your thoughts pertaining to everything in this comment so I know where to go from here. I don’t want to go ahead and define socialism incorrectly, because that can be easily accomplished when speaking to members on the opposite side of the political spectrum. So, my main question from here is, “what do you define socialism to be?”

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Dylan Shetler — December 19, 2019 @ 20:03

    • Hello Dylan. I enjoy our conversations and I hope you do also. Even when people disagree a discussion can be fun if everyone is acting in good faith with each other. I do not mind if your reply is long or short , but I do hope you will cover the points we are talking about or when giving your thoughts include citations or where you gathered the information. As for my long replies back to you I understand long replies are a pain sometimes but it is the only way to address the many things you often refer to in your own replies or comments. One thing I think all of us have to be careful of, and I include my self in this, is “talking points” , things we have heard or read stated as facts which when looked into turn out not to be not true. Also projection where one person thinks the other person is doing what they themselves are doing. To prevent that I include links to where I get my information so you can check if I interpreted what I read correctly. We all read or hear through the filters of our own ideas and what we have been taught so it is easy to mistake something if we are not careful. As you have seen I like facts over emotion. Matt Dillihunty has a quote I often use and admire.

      “I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible.”

      It is true that people in this country have been arguing about the role of government before we even were a country. It seems we still enjoy doing that. There is nothing wrong with an informed position on an issue and with stating that. I think that is healthy in a democracy to debate political issue and discuss relevant topics of the day. We are the people the government was formed to serve, we should talk about it freely with out rancor.

      In your idea of society we differ some what. Yes we are a tribal species. That can be seen from the earliest years with siblings in the idea that I can insult my brother but you can’t idea. My loyalty is to my family before your family. My town is better than your town, my sports team is the best, my car is the best one to own, my way of life is the way everyone should live. As to your description of government needing to restrain our worse impulses I can agree with that also. I think your idea of society is a bit too narrow for my taste, as we started forming groups, communities , and societies back when we were hardly bipedal and needed the group to be safe. Then as we became a more separate species we needed to expand on those ideas to not only be safe but work toward the common good of everyone. That is why I keep using that phrase, the common good, it is what drove us to form our social structures, and it is a war between the common good and the individual desire that is the source of tension today. I disagree totally that government is a necessary evil, I think it can be a necessary good. In fact good governance is necessary for a healthy society and a prosperous people. To live together people need rules, and that includes rules on capitalism.

      Dylan I think you are confusing equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. The first one we need , no must fight for, the second is silly. By the way when your use of sentences like “I will use their preferred label” you are not only showing your own bias, but an attempt to prejudice the reader / listener. You state there is no such thing as equality of opportunity, yet I believe you are wrong. We have history to show that. Women had no equality of opportunity until after suffrage, and black people still suffer from a lack of it today. As we progress as a society we make opportunities available to more of our populations. Again European and Scandinavian countries have done a much better job at this. You are trying to equate a level playing field with personal ability and they are two different things. For example. In the history of our own country even as recent as world war 2 a woman designed the first remote controlled torpedo yet had to have it patented and presented to the military by a man. There have been brilliant people of color who never got a chance because of their economic standing and skin color while there are complete morons with white skin color who got a free ride to successes. It is even worse when you factor in wealth. Case in point George W Bush. He got out of enlisting in the regular military during Vietnam and instead was allowed to join the national guard and he was then allowed to not even do duty but instead assigned to work on political campaigns and other activities as he wished. There are several years where his activities in the military reserve can not even be verified. Name one non-wealthy person who can claim this privilege? There are really smart people who can not go to college because of economics and kids of really wealthy parents, who made it into colleges and their parent’s who right now are in court because they illegally bought their kids way into high end schools. I will expand on these things if you wish, but I think the main point is what is meant by equal opportunity. The idea is to remove road blocks either societal or economic to make a equal playing field not to force every opportunity to those not qualified. No one is saying a mentally handicapped person should be given position at a medical teaching facility they can not hope to achieve any success in, what we are demanding is that a person not be excluded from attending medical school because of economic situation or ethnic back ground. I told you before how in the late 1980’s I could have stayed in Germany and taken my RN classes, paid for by the German government including living expenses with the caveat I stay in the country 6 years after I graduated to work as a RN. That is equal opportunity, not equal out come. Simply put when we have equal opportunity the entire country, maybe the entire world benefits, when we restrict opportunity the communities, societies, and the world suffers.

      Dylan this is the third time you have brought up racism as if it is something that doesn’t exist. That concerns me. Would you please expand on this? There can be no doubt that racism not only exists but has gotten much worse in the last three years. It is a systemic problem in all sectors of our society and while it hits black people the hardest it is not limited to them.

      One last thing on equality of opportunity. If anyone is denied the opportunity to succeed or excel for any factors not related to ability then we all lose. There is no way to justify the opportunity to try in these cases.

      While I addressed this above I would like to know who you are listening too who is pushing for the “Equal opportunity of outcome”? That is not a part of any progressive argument, not a part of any written creed, nor even a goal of liberals. It is basically a talking point of the right. So if you could please show me where a progressive is pushing this thing which is basically impossible to achieve I would appreciate it.

      Actually your next to last paragraph is very important. I want to point out that in the US today, 40% of the people can not handle an unexpected or sudden bill of $400. Some of us are lucky not due to any of our own effort but by circumstances. Hard working people some with multiple jobs can not survive in the society we have today. This is not equal opportunity for success.

      Dylan I said that you did not understand what was being talked about with the democratic socialism. I even sent the text book definitions. This is what frustrates me about our conversations, I spend hours reading, crafting a reply, looking up stuff and citing my sources and you seem to not read my reply. Maybe you do but if you go back to the reply you would see what I quoted.

      But, whatever the case be, it is thoroughly different than capitalism, or else there wouldn’t be an ongoing debate about it right now.

      No not true. the fact it is it the ideas being put forth are being altered and scare mongered to create a fearful narrative. Yes right wing media does want to make the ideas of democratic socialism scary because it interferes with the greed and profit taking of unrestrained capitalism. You mention an ongoing debate, but what is the debate about? lets be clear I mentioned right wing media because right wing media equates any type of democratic socialism with possibly failed socialist states. The media likes to equate all socialism with the text book wording. How often have you heard Fox News equate democratic socialist ideas with Venezuelan, or with Cuba? They do that on purpose to confuse or muddy the waters. The fact we are having a debate on it right now is because of how afraid the unrestrained capitalist wealthy are over the idea that the US may adopt the ideas working in all other developed countries. People who want only to squeeze every dollar they can out of the lower incomes are terrified of democratic socialism / socialist democracy, because it works.

      Lets be clear on what we are talking about, I sent that to you in my last reply. Did you read it? I have to admit Dylan this frustrates me, I work hours replying to your comments, giving citations, and then you ask questions that seem to imply you did not even read what I sent. Please understand that democratic socialism is capitalism but with restraints that do not kill the golden goose. No one is getting rid of capitalism. They are modifying it. Heck Dylan do you understand the shift in China over the last 20 years. They are still a authoritarian one party rule country, but they are deeply capitalist. They wanted the benefits of capitalism and being the only ones in charge, sort of what the Republicans in our country want. That is socialist capitalism with out the democracy part.

      So to repeat here is what I replied last time to your same question.

      You are confusing socialism with social democracy. They do that in right wing media as it makes social democracies sound scarier.

      Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers’ self-management as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity.

      Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented economy. Wikipedia

      What every progressive, every liberal, every conservative and all most all politicians are pushing in this country regardless of party is Social Democracy because our economy is a Social Democracy. It has been since our countries founding with periods of shifting back and forth from the ideals.

      Dylan the question you ask on defining socialism and trying to make an argument from that point is a non starter, because no one is suggesting that other than right wing media. You have been apparently convinced there is only two paths, pure capitalism or pure socialism, neither exist today in our world. All governments are a mix of the two, it is just how mixed they are. so your premise on that is totally wrong.

      One last thought. Often when I have had these conversations and the comments and replies run long, I use to do video responses. I would read and reply to the comment via video and upload the result to my blog. That way others could simply play them while there were doing other things. If that interests you please let me know. You could reply by video also. That would save us both time in typing and allow much more to be discussed in a shorter time frame. Be well. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — December 20, 2019 @ 16:40

  3. Scottie, I just caught your comment at the end of my day. I will respond sooner or later in more depth, but don’t you agree that everything you just wrote is quite vague. I like the part where you said, “no one is getting rid of capitalism. They are modifying.”
    Which really concerned me after I read the definition you listed. And I quote : (“Socialism democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist oriented economy”)

    Scottie, If we become a “democratic socialist” country, what will “promote social justice?” What will be the force behind supporting economic and social interventions? Do you not see how vague this definition is?

    Anyway, I will get back to you when I can.

    Again, thanks for the response. I greatly appreciate it. There are not many people out there who enjoy rational discussion.


    Comment by Dylan Shetler — December 20, 2019 @ 18:39

    • Hello Dylan. Reply when you get time. One short point you keep missing. We are and have been from the start a social democracy. The ideas proposed now simply want to shift the system back to what it was. Scare tactics aside, it is not destroying anything nor even trying something new, as these proposals were either done in the past or talked about in the past. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — December 21, 2019 @ 04:01

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