Yet Another Failed Example


Listening to Sean Hannity on the way home from a doctor appointment today and he’s once again screwing up every reality we have all lived through. He finally got to one of his big rallying cries to suggest President Obama is taking us into socialism and asking the seemingly powerful question, “Where has socialism ever worked?”

Well Sean, let me answer that question for you. Socialism has worked wonderfully in our own nation for over 200 years. This idea that it never existed here prior to Obama is ludicrous. Our military is a socialist endeavor. Much of what we provide is socialist in nature. Our trash is picked up by the government. Police and fire departments are socialist in their make-up. We’ve got seniors not wanting the government to interfere with their Medicare and virtually none of them would go for giving up their Social Security checks. Even Bill Kristol admitted to Jon Stewart that the government provides top-notch care to our troops. All of these are socialist ideals.

Much of the socialism that exists in our country is so much a part of who and what we are today that many people don’t even think of these elements as anything but the norm. Actor Craig T. Nelson was on Glenn Beck‘s show espousing the benefits of fiscal conservatism and said, “What happened to society? I go into business, I don’t make it, I go bankrupt. I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out?”He was totally oblivious to the fact that both of those are socialist government programs. Yes, Craig, someone did help you out—we did. Even Glenn Beck didn’t bat an eyelash over the comment.

The biggest joke of all is when people like Hannity point to the Postal Service as a clear example of failed government socialism. This one doesn’t stand up to even the smallest amount of scrutiny. Why? First of all, this organization has been providing solid service for well over 200 years. In times of war, in the most far out places in our country, in the worst of all types of weather the mail is the one thing you could be confident about. Hannity and the like love to ridicule how poorly they’re doing and tie that to their mantra. The fact is that the post office was doing just fine right up to the 1980’s when its business model was changed in an attempt (by President Reagan) to have it stand on its own and operate without any taxpayer dollars. The fact is that the Post Office is suffering these days but it’s not due to mismanagement. The fact of the matter is that times have changed. The Post Office is now trying to survive in a market where its core product is no longer in demand. It’s as simple as that.

These shows will point to UPS and FedEx as shining examples of how much better the private market can be. First of all, FedEx has been around since 1971 and UPS since 1930. They’re relative new-comers compared to the post office. Furthermore they certainly didn’t think up new concepts. They borrowed heavily from what the post office had been doing. Furthermore, just because a company is not government run doesn’t have anything to do with its success or failure. Being private did nothing to help Airborne Express or DHL for example. It’s okay for private companies to experience difficulties, mismanagement and, ultimately, failure but if the Postal Service has a hard time it’s just because it’s run by the government? I don’t follow this line of thinking.

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