United For Liberty Newsletter
Socialism in America
by Eric McCabe
The last three generations of students in this country have all been indoctrinated with the idea that unfettered capitalism leads to horrific outcomes; strangely enough, the primary examples for such 'unfettered capitalism' generally stems from the beginning of the industrial age, when corporations and government officials began working hand-in-hand to create mega corporations, and laws began to promulgate that protected the interests of mega corporations. It wasn't until laws were passed banning so-called monopolies that the plight of the people began to be fixed; or so goes the traditional telling of the story.
The fact of the matter is that those anti-monopoly laws absolutely guaranteed the corporate takeover of the political system, and that takeover occurred in very short order. "If the success or failure of a business is dictated by political whim, the first things to be bought and sold will be your politicians". Those bought-and-paid for politicians have, for the last 100+ years, been working to improve conditions for corporations at the expense of the people.
There are plenty of examples that can be ripped from recent headlines- the exorbitant cost of pharmaceuticals, being the most obvious. How does the law of supply and demand somehow give us $1,000 doses of insulin? It doesn't, that's how. $1,000 insulin is only possible when the supply of said drug is artificially limited by government-created (and enforced) monopoly.
With the advent of the internet, it is becoming apparent that the government has zero actual interest in preserving the rights of the people, but is, instead, indebted to their corporate owners. Where once the narrative could be closely monitored and controlled through the mainstream media, independent journalists are now able to break stories that reach millions in a single day.
This explains the angst, but not why the reach toward socialism;
for that, you again have to look at how the school system teaches what occurred in the socialist states- when the topic of human atrocities comes up, they are glossed over, with no in-depth analyses of why such atrocities were committed, or why it seems that wherever socialism is adopted, it eventually devolves into a contest to determine who the next target of government will be. Consider, too, that the majority of the curriculum focuses on why such governments came to power in the first place- the plight of the oppressed people against corrupt businessmen and politicians. The millions dead were simply the price to be paid for getting rid of the corrupt government.
With the schools determined to gloss over the destructive nature of the socialist ideas, and their propensity to draw (legitimate) parallels between the state of our current society, and the societies that 'rose up against oppressive and corrupt governments' it is no wonder that more than half of all high school students have a favorable view of socialism in general, and specifically have favorable views of the violent overthrow of corrupt governments. I should note that this last part is almost characteristically American- it was embedded in our national fiber from the very beginning- it led to the first shots being fired on April 19th, 1775, which began our War for Independence from England. We have been taught (correctly, I should add) that standing up to tyranny is one of the most American things you can do, and should be lauded. It is when this "Americanism" is debased with an overt injection of pro-socialist ideologies, that a conundrum becomes apparent.
We have failed to combat this situation *at all*, and frankly, are ill prepared to do so. It is only now, that the next two or three cohorts of students will be nigh on devout Marxists (without having any real understanding of his ideas), that we as a people are starting to take notice. Cue "Ok, Boomer" response.
So, how DO we combat this? We have Logic and Reason on our side, AND we have a legitimate emotional appeal. People who are willing to listen, need to be informed about the absolute destructive nature of socialism, yes, but that is not enough. We also need to embrace the idea that government intervention in the market is the *actual* root cause of our present condition, and actively strike out against it. The would-be socialists among us aren't wrong- the corporatocracy that we now live in has created a TON of things that are absolutely screwing 'the little people'- where they go off the rails is in thinking *more* government intervention is the answer.
This is a tough row to hoe- it goes against the very nature of the lessons we've been taught in school for the last 100 years, so the ideas we have to combat are well entrenched, to put it mildly.
In order to win the battle of Individual Liberty versus statism, we must first accept that we do, in fact, have common cause with socialists, in so far as we ought to agree that the current scheme of governance does not further the Liberty of the Individual, and that we are *all* being screwed. Where we differ, is in what should be done about it.
Ultimately, we are faced with the following decision:
Do we, as the socialists propose, throw over the kettle to keep it from boiling over, spilling the whole of the contents, or do we move the kettle away from the flame?
If we can agree that self-destruction (violent overthrow of the government) is a sub-optimal path forward, how then shall we get off the fire? That seems a logical step, but it will take a great awakening to the fact that a fire is actually burning... As we move closer to that eventuality, we must prepare to defend the extremely unpopular idea that government interference in the market is the *cause* of the corruption that is now endemic to our government.
Let's End Homelessness In Our Time...
by David Cuddy
Estimates are that each homeless person costs the Anchorage public as much as $150,000 per year. 1500 Anchorage homeless folks cost Anchorage residents $225,000,000 each year. Got your attention? It is not just the cost to the public, but the cost of these non productive lives to these folks is a cost impossible to calculate.
No one is working on ending homelessness. Let me repeat, no one is working to end homelessness in Anchorage. There is money spent to fix the damage caused by the homeless. There is money used to warehouse the homeless, but no efforts are made to end or reduce homelessness.
There are 200 federal, state, local, and non profit entities that spend money, time, and personnel on the homeless problem. They are pretty much prohibited from working to end homelessness. As one non profit head said, “it is politically incorrect to work to end homelessness.”
How do we end homelessness?
1) We need to deal with today's homeless. These folks are presently just being warehoused. We need to separate them into: druggies, alcoholics, criminals, mentally ill, and folks who just grew up in dysfunctional families and who have no idea how to function in society. Each of these folks have different needs. We need to handle these needs in a way that does not attract more people to move to Anchorage for the benefits. This means keeping the “warehousing” costs down. This means capturing some and sending them for drug treatment, or mental wards. It might mean identifying the 1/3 who could actually become employable, and working to give them training to gain self sustaining employment. It might mean jail terms for repeat and violent offenders to get them off of the streets.
2) We need to gather data about who the homeless are, and where they came from...what are the root causes? What happened in their lives 20 years ago that took them down this road. We need this data to form public policy so that we don't have another generation of homeless 20 years from now. If we don't quit producing “future homeless” we'll never get a handle on this problem.
Nick Begich and I are working on real solutions to this problem. Non profits and policy makers would really like to be a part of the solution, but they tell us that it is not politically correct to do so. We need to educate the public on ways to end homelessness, so that our policy makers will find public support. Presently major donors only fund programs where they can have their pictures taken handing checks made to provide expensive housing. We need donors who actually care about ending homelessness, instead of getting their pictures taken pretending they care.
If you'd like to see real, long term solutions, go to intervention2020.com and learn about how we can deal with this problem, and learn what you can do to help. Once the majority of Alaskans get behind real solutions...the politicians will follow suit.
Dave Cuddy is a lifetime Alaskans, a former bank president, former state legislator, and and is a community volunteer and activist.