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February 11, 2014

Socialism is sneaking into the U.S.

The Daily Star

---- — After watching President Obama’s State of the Union speech a couple of weeks ago, I came to the realization that we are witnessing the continued growth of socialism in America. Believe it or not, we are far down that road already.

Are you shaking your head in disbelief? I’m not surprised. The devil’s greatest deed was making people believe that he doesn’t exist. So, too, with socialism in America.

Do the math. If one calculates total taxation (county, state and federal, plus sales tax and taxes on gas, cigarettes, TV, phone, etc ...), the average taxpaying American gives more than 60 percent of his or her income to government. If we’re not at socialism’s level now, we’re pretty darn close!

What does government do with all that money? It provides for our defense, educates our young, and builds our roads. But the recent trend, and it is growing at a tremendous rate, is to give that tax money to poorer Americans.

Our government is taking money from those who have earned it, and giving that money to those who have not, under the banner of “fairness,” “spreading the wealth around,” and a phrase which has finally come out of the closet, “equality of income.” It’s pure, unabashed socialism, folks! Liberals will scoff and roll their eyes, but there is no other name for it.

Interestingly, it took generations of welfare, food stamps, politically instigated class warfare, and blatant propaganda before the left would dare use these words “equality of income.” We fell for it little by little, kind of like that old frog story. 

Toss him into boiling water, and he’ll jump out instantly, but if you heat the water slowly, the poor fool will sit there and boil to death. By the way, that’s not true. Even a dumb frog has enough brains to jump out of hot water. As further proof of the superiority of frogs, not one voted for Barack Obama!

Conservative Americans believe that everyone should start with equal opportunities. President Obama and liberal/socialist Americans want equality at the finish line, and that is impossible without lowering everyone’s horizons, striving to the lowest denominator, and surrendering most economic and personal freedoms.

Capitalism is the greatest economic engine for everyone’s prosperity. Just look around you! What do you see that isn’t made better and more affordable because of competition (aka capitalism)? 

Ask yourself, what great or even average innovations have come from Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, or Ireland? That’s socialism, folks! Their governments take almost all their income, and provide for their needs. There is no excellence, because there is no incentive to succeed. 

Years ago, there was an old gent named Holger Eklund in Stamford. I’ve met men as smart, but none smarter. One night, Holger got to talking about economics, and being as he had a proven record of success in business, I thought I might better listen. 

He said that “People better wake up to the fact that the laws of economics are as exact as the laws of nature. I was in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and you can defy gravity, but it’s always there, and eventually, that plane will come down!

“Banks and governments lend money to people who can’t pay it back, businessmen value property and homes for hundreds of thousands when they’re worth half that, and union workers demand and get $20 to $30 an hour for a job that’s worth only $7 per hour.

“They can play all the games they want, but I’m going tell you, someday it will all come crashing down. People will cry and complain that they have lost a fortune, but they were just stupid. They bought things they couldn’t afford, paid too much for things, and thought they were worth more per hour than they really were.”

If one imagines America being a great ship (in this case, an air ship), I wonder if our captain has a pilot’s license. When I hear President Obama, in the State of the Union speech, brag about the economy with true unemployment being 11 percent to 15 percent, welfare and food stamp recipients at all-time highs, and unemployment benefits needing to be extended yet once again, and he offers bold initiatives like a $10.10 federal minimum wage, I’d rather Holger was in the cockpit.

Note to Sustainable Otsego: Drum roll, please! In the State of the Union speech, President Obama made it crystal clear that he is pro-gas exploration, as is Hillary Clinton. If they think that it is safe and good for the environment — come on now, guys!

CHUCK PINKEY is a retired area businessman. He can be reached at The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board, but the author thinks they ought to.