Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

We hear a lot of words used to describe various political factions in the US. Most will say the US economic system is capitalist but is this just an illusion? Are we socialist? Have we been socialist for a long time? It seems to me, we have. In Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Socialism Is Everywhere

Just because a country’s economic system is socialist, does not mean it’s a tyranny. Denmark and Canada aren’t dictatorships. Singapore is a Socialist Market Economy. Places where ‘the people’ own or control the means of production. Most socialist countries these days enjoy democratic political systems.

Government and Non Profits Dominate State Economies

Americans think of themselves as capitalists. The thing is, the top three employers in my state are public institutions. Americans depend on social security, medicare, or medicaid ‘entitlements’. Home buyers get tax subsidies. We enjoy many tax deferred investment options. Farmers get subsidies. Public workers get pensions. All kinds of grants for education exist. Then there are the business subsidies and government contracts. Some popular business personalities receive billions in subsidies from the government. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Both Parties Support Socialism

Democrats complain about light rail projects running through their backyards, but support government programs because ‘It’s the right thing to do’. Republicans complain about big government unless it’s the military, support for their businesses, home mortgage tax credit, social security and 401K programs.

The Right Thing To Do

It’s true that many of these programs date back to the depression in the 1930’s. Also true that creation of these programs came with the best intentions. Whether we like it or not, government is deeply involved in our lives. Of course, what the government giveth, the government takeaway. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Classic Liberalism Is Forgotten

Republicans and Democrats argue the same side of the coin. Both are collectivists. Neither adhere to Classic Liberalism, a philosophy of limited government with the sole purpose of securing a maximum amount of individual liberty, property rights and free markets. While no political scientist would argue the US is Socialist maybe we should consider the possibility we are and have been for some time.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

Social Media Rules

More of us get our news from social media these days. Problem is most of the ‘news’ on social media doesn’t adhere to standards. Might feel better informed, but it’s hard to tell the difference between writing to a standard and propaganda. In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621.

Internet Never Lies

People are in the habit of posting, sharing, liking and commenting on stories that support their point of view. People apparently believe anything published on the Internet that looks credible and comes from a site they visit often. We are floating on a sea of bad information.

Garbage In Garbage Out

News stories not written to standard assert things that turn out to be false. What’s worse, this kind of information poisons the discourse. Thoughts, insights and ideas based on bad information form into concrete assumptions and conclusions. Those conclusions drive people’s ideas about the world.

Propaganda and Manipulation

In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621 I’ll provide some examples of story-lines that have not been proven. Most of the time these stories reinforce the right versus left thinking that ruins friendships and family ties. It’s what makes social media so angry and vitriolic.

There are standards. When you know the standards you can determine whether a writer lives up to those standards. Without standards we’re susceptible to a steady stream of propaganda and manipulation. It’s up to us to learn the standards and choose what we post, share, like and comment on accordingly.

Context and Perspective

A steady diet of Social Media, 24 Hour Cable News and Talk Radio is like junk food for the mind. This ruins a person’s ability to discern whether assertions are true or just opinion. When all we do is read stuff online, watch You Tube videos and listen to cable news and talk radio we lose the context of major stories. We don’t get the details to be able to master the issues. Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621  explains how to do that.

Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

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Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620

Foreign Policy Based On Cable News and Twitter

Wars. Rumors of wars. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620 Trump breaks another promise. Remember 2013? That’s when Trump said Obama should forget about Syria. Save his powder for something more important. In the debates, then candidate Trump said the same thing. Leave Syria alone. We’ll get nothing out of attacking Assad.

Trump Fine With Assad Until…

At the end of March Senators McCain and Graham were pleading to attack Assad. However as late as last week Nikki Haley was telling her UN Counterparts and the world Assad could stay. Then came the chemical attack on Syrian civilians. Children. Pictures on cable news. President Trump saw the pictures and got mad.

Cable News Made President Mad

As Trump and his team met with the Chinese at his resort in Florida, he ordered a counterstrike. 59 missiles. 70 million dollars. The runway where the planes took off is still intact. Syrian military aviation continues to fly sorties from that runway. On a dime this president has changed US foreign policy. Changed one of the cornerstones of his campaign. Another major promise broken.

North Korea Too

Over the weekend the USS Carl Vinson Strike Force was detailed to the Western Pacific. Off the Korean Peninsula. Suddenly Donald Trump has become George W. Bush. If you voted for Trump is this what you voted for? We’re a long way from building the wall and getting China to send all those jobs back now, Toto.

Alt Right Deeply Misinformed

Then there are the rumors. The bad reporting. The discourse on social media. One hundred fifty thousand US troops to Syria? Says so right here. China deploying another one hundred fifty thousand of their troops to the Yalu river, China’s border with North Korea. Russia and Iran say they’ll respond if there are any more US attacks. Word is the Russian Navy is very busy in Europe. More activity than the cold war.

How About Those Twins?

Voters who didn’t want to talk about foreign policy because it was too complicated might want to bone up. TV producers and Radio Program directors and talk show hosts may want to drop the banter about sports and the weather. Republicans should take a look at the bargain they made with this president and ask themselves just what they bought and must now defend.

Trust Me. It’s Gonna Be Great

Welcome to Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620. Tax Reform, a trillion dollar stimulus program and another run at repealing ObamaCare loom. The US is twenty trillion dollars in debt. On top of that, perhaps a war in Syria he campaigned against and a crisis in North Korea. Don’t worry though. The president will tweet about it. Foreign Affairs crisis? Bah. More tweets. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620.

(Editor’s Note: Late Tuesday the President told the New York Post, “We are not going into Syria”, and blamed the confusion on his ‘aides’. Which would be his ambassador to the UN among other fairly senior administration personnel. Oddly enough regime change remains a new goal. He also said, “We’re sending an armada” to North Korea. Rhetorical Presidency indeed.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 611-Define Political Progress

When it comes to politics these days noise is the norm. The latest outrage drowns out talk about political progress. Voters in 2016 made their choices for a reason. Not too early to ask whether the politicians are making progress toward addressing those reasons. We talk about it in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

ObamaCare Repeal

Number one issue on the campaign trail. Bogged down in congress already. Republicans wanted a full repeal of the ACA. New GOP plan isn’t a full repeal. President Trump has already endorsed it. What happened to promises of a full repeal?

Economy

Somewhere around 96 million people are out of the workforce. Need to create 375,000 new jobs a month for several months to get those people back in the work force. For years we were less than impressed with a quarter of a million jobs each month. Economic growth has been promised. In Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Cutting Federal Budget

Smaller government? Proposed budget cuts are accompanied with proposals to shift money to defense. Does this reduce the size of government? A hiring freeze can be considered progress. Corporate tax reductions can be progress. However making up corporate tax reductions with higher taxes somewhere else doesn’t cut the budget.

Foreign Policy and Military Spending

Resurgent Russia. Rising China. Political changes in Turkey. Expanding NATO. Cyber Threats. US troops in Iraq and Syria. ISIS. Terror. Climate Change. How will reducing foreign aid and increasing military spending address these concerns? What should the foreign policy of the US be? It’s all in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Too Early?

First benchmark on progress made by a majority republican government in the United States. Did you vote for republicans? Are they doing what you wanted them to do?

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 595-Money

Money and Controlling the Media Battle Space

Money. Money. Money! Everything the new President says and does is controversial. The latest eruption concerns Trump’s executive order regarding immigrants from several war-torn countries in the middle east region. A handful of court rulings challenging the order are centered on whether due process can be denied people allowed into the United States legally. The court rulings do not suggest the President cannot use executive orders to control departments in the executive branch but whether if the executive orders deny legal rights without due process.

This is just another in a series of actions and comments by President Trump and his administration that have received wide comment and coverage in the media. While protesters protest and media outlets gas-bag about the latest affront to society, Trump and his people throw another rock into the lake creating new ripples that have to be protested against and reacted to by the already too reactive media. This is a tactic or strategy known as an OODA Loop. Trump is forcing the media and his opponents to react to him. When they react his team observes their reaction, decides on a new initiative and then acts, restarting the loop. In this way the administration controls the media battle space.

About the Money

In Podcast 595-Money: When it comes to Money, once the initial spate of executive orders and stunts at press conferences passes, Congress and the President will get down to work on legislative initiatives to address the moribund economy of the United States. Podcast 595-Money wonders whether what has been talked about by this president on the campaign trail and in the media will indeed, make America Great Again.

No Growth

The United States has grown less than 3 percent a year roughly for the last eight years. Those old enough to remember the early 80’s know that the experience of robust economic growth in that era was real. People didn’t worry so much about getting jobs. As inflation came under control and interest rates came down and as unemployment started to come down, optimism took hold. We have not had that kind of feeling in the United States for a long time.

The question is whether the things Trump wants to do will actually produce economic growth. Middle Class taxes are already historically low. Cutting corporate taxes may result in higher profits which is good for Wall Street but may not translate to jobs. Some parts of clearing out the thicket of Federal Regulations can be done by executive order but most of it will require congressional action. Will a Trillion Dollar Stimulus package to build roads and bridges spur economic growth?

A Republican Stimulus?

President Obama’s Trillion Dollar stimulus was supposed to stimulate economic growth and didn’t. Part of the problem with big federal stimulus efforts is the money has to be block granted to states and the spending becomes political. Another issue is the fact that most people in the United States are employed in services rather than construction trade. Aside from the fact that government spending doesn’t ‘create’ jobs, putting people to work in a small swath of the population usually doesn’t result in a high multiple. This is why the Obama Stimulus produced dubious results.

Another problem is Trump’s Trade Protectionist sentiments. While the trade unions love the idea generally the United States has been a free trade nation. Trade agreements are negotiated because most of our trading partners are trade protectionists. The agreements generally break down borders to our trade. The fact certain kinds of manufacturing is cheaper in Latin America and Asia has actually benefited Americans in the form of cheaper goods. Putting up barriers to manufacturing overseas also means goods in the US will become more expensive.

Most of the jobs lost in the last decade or so have been lost due to information technology, robotics and automation. New manufacturing plants are much more automated these days which means they will not produce the manufacturing jobs expected. When one considers completely automated warehouses like Amazon’s and robotic manufacturing like Elon Musk’s showplace plant, don’t expect ‘bringing manufacturing back to the United States’ means jobs at the factory for Uncle Mike.

If you believe the economy is the sum total of individual’s transactions then an economy can be considered a force of nature. This is the first time in recent memory a ‘conservative’ president has endorsed trade protection and big government spending. Two of the biggest problems economically in the United States are the ongoing budget deficits and the total public debt. One wonders how the cornerstones of the Trump economic policy will produce enough growth to reduce the deficits and public debt.

Finally in Podcast 595-Money, the proof will be in the pudding. With all the other controversies swirling around this president after just two weeks if his policies fail to produce the promised economic growth republicans will have real problems in the 2018 and perhaps the 2020 cycles, especially for the politicians that endorsed Trump. Be careful what you pray for.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57

Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws a Temper Tantrum. The Electoral College will soon gather in respective state capitols for the purpose of choosing the the next president of the United States. In a last ditch attempt to influence the outcome of this final hurdle for Republican President-elect Trump, democrat supporters are hurling unsubstantiated charges regarding Russia, Wikileaks, Fake News and Hacks. I separate and break down very different story lines behind it all in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57.

New protests say the Electoral College should be abolished because it isn’t ‘democratic’, all while they try to influence electors to vote for Clinton rather than Trump. ‘The Electoral College’ is our last line of defense, they shout. Perhaps the most absurd assertion of all; ‘This is how Hitler came to power’. I also break this down in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. The Electoral College for all its faults is in fact a democratic process. Getting rid of the Electoral College as an institution would be a very complex process involving amending the US Constitution.

The so called ‘Russian Hack’ is actually a constellation of assertions and claims, circumstantial at best, from shadowy sources in the US Intelligence Community. Suddenly very entertaining ‘Fake News’ stories on the Internet require complex rules and warning labels from social media in what amounts to a George Soros funded violation of our First Amendment rights under the US Constitution. If you can’t make baseless assertions about child sex rings at Pizza Restaurants in Washington, you can’t make baseless assertions about Russians ‘hacking’ the US Election to put Trump in the White House.

What about the Hitler comparisons? How did the Nazis come to power in Germany in the 1920’s? How did Hitler come to power in the early 1930’s? How are these factors different from the Representative Republic known as The United States of America? Attempts to intimidate and influence Electors to comparisons of Trump to Hitler and Republicans to Nazis, fevered assertions about the wily Russians as Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws A Temper Tantrum.

We’re living through an age of disruption as technology destroys centralized processes, including a massive, sclerotic Federal Government. Forget Republican and Democratic. There are really two poles now. Tyranny and Liberty. Which do you choose? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

(Editor’s Note: Since this show was produced and posted, the Washington Post is reporting Director of National Intelligence Clapper, and FBI Director Comey have ‘signed on’ to the assessment of the CIA regarding Russian “intervention in the US Election for the purpose of influencing its outcome”. This assessment remains classified and is therefore not public and one should read the statements of Clapper and Comey on this matter for more details.)

Podcast 581-Disruption

Podcast 581-Disruption. The 1950’s and 60’s Are Never Coming Back. Disruption is Radical Change with profound effects, usually Permanent.   I’ve tried to determine the root of the feeling we all seem to have that something is wrong. It comes down to a major disruption of our business, industrial, governmental and cultural processes.Podcast 581-Disruption started out to be a podcast about the industrial revolution and the 1950’s in the United States. It’s a theme I return to regularly, especially when I talk about technology.

The Industrial Revolution caused disruptions from the time it began until it peaked in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. We’re in the early stages of a technology revolution on a scale the world has never experienced. I call it the second industrial revolution. It is a technology revolution and will cause profound disruptions.

Some call what we’re living through the fourth industrial revolution. I use the term second industrial revolution because I think breaking the Industrial Revolution into parts minimizes its impact. We’re in the early stages of a disruption as significant as the Industrial Revolution has been overall. What I call the Second Industrial Revolution will have more impact on humans and the planet than the first. The effect of both concepts should not be underestimated.

One of the cultural effects of the ‘turbo’ into the future is longing and nostalgia for the past. The Post World War II period in American History appears to be one of those times when the world could be easily explained, people understood their roles, people of different races didn’t mingle and The United States was number one with a bullet. The problem with this idea is, the late 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s only exist in perfection in dreamy memories and pictures of Marilyn Monroe. Pretty pictures, faded with time. A time when ‘everyone’ was working. When small towns were strong, and big cities were booming. Yet even then, the beginning of the decline of one age and the dawn of a new were in the making.

Not all the gifts of the technology revolution are good. The gifts of technology can be used for dark purposes as well. Religions that spread like viruses. ‘Conventional’ war on an unprecedented scale. Surveillance and mind control of populations that are supposed to be free, to the point where they ask for laws to control speech. What seems like a dream to some, will be a nightmare to others.

This revolution will not be stopped though. It will flow around any obstacles put in its path. Much of the texture of the sense some have that ‘something’ is wrong can be expressed in fear and hate. ‘Fixing’ whatever is wrong, means going back to a world 60 or 70 years ago? A world that no longer exists. Much of the industrial revolution is based on centralization. Today centralization is being disrupted to the point of destruction by decentralizing technologies. What do we need to prevail, given these challenges?

Dealing with this change is a question of how we conduct our own lives and ensure our own happiness and freedom.  We’re living through the beginning of the greatest disruption in human history. It might be the greatest age of human beings and this country yet. Saying things change isn’t descriptive enough. Disruption means radical change. In Podcast 581-Disruption-The 1950’s aren’t coming back, when are we going to stop complaining about what is being done to us, and start taking charge of our lives and our world. When are we going to start looking forward and not backward.

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and X Government Cars.

Podcast 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56

Podcast 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56. Four mini podcast for your weekend. It’s time to move beyond talk about fake news and false narratives. Time to work on becoming better citizens. We have to get beyond reactions to get what is needed to create better political structures for the future. People have very high expectations about a Trump presidency. Whether you fear the future or can’t wait for it, the President-Elect’s cabinet nominations are moderate and establishment republicans. Trump’s ideas are philosophically all over the road. The new republican administration may end up being just as statist as a Hillary Clinton presidency. One example is Trump’s penchant for roads and bridges and airports. Given the establishment congress of republican moderates expecting a reduction in the cost and power of the federal government is too much to ask for. Fake News is still ‘in the news’. There were suggestions from the CIA at the end of last week that the Russians ‘could have’ been responsible for the Wikileaks hack. Still no proof though. That doesn’t stop the media from feeding into the Clinton camp narrative that Russia put Trump in the White House. It’s impossible to say what influenced voters in Ohio, Pennsyvania, North Carolina and Florida where Trump won by tight margins. None of these facts stop demands to ‘do something’ about ‘fake news’. FaceBook is caving and censorship is suddenly now a big topic. There have also been reports that Electors (members of the electoral college for 2016) have received death threats. What happens if Trump doesn’t have a majority of electors? What is the goal of people supporting the effort to influence the Electoral College? Have you driven around the country lately? If you had, you would know the United States does not have an ‘infrastructure’ problem. Building new airports, roads and bridges will not create enough new jobs to influence a 16 trillion dollar economy. Moreover, trade protection, cutting taxes on the middle class, increasing spending and government power including military spending is fraught with problems and probably won’t result in economic growth. Where does the money come from for these shiny objects? It has to be taxed or borrowed, sooner or later. For those who supported Trump because he ‘isn’t Hillary’, there are no guarantees he’ll be materially different from Clinton, when it comes to results. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.[Powerpress]

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55. As the Trump Transition rolls on, it’s The Messiah Syndrome, Partisans Painting Themselves Into a Corner and False Narratives. Eight years ago people in this country thought Barack Obama would fix everything. Obama was a God. The new Messiah is Donald J. Trump. He is going to fix everything. He has been ‘chosen by God’. Trump ‘will be defended by God’. We ‘have to pray for him’. It’s always good to celebrate a victory, but the US Presidency is a political office. All the things that are supposed to get fixed become a question of what is possible with Congress, the Courts, the executive departments and the states playing a role. When it comes to political nuts and bolts Trump supporters and most republicans can’t be bothered. From day one Messiah Trump will be embroiled a political struggle. The clock is already ticking on the next congressional cycle in 2018. Gubernatorial campaigns are already underway in many states. Cabinet Secretaries and bureaucrats don’t come from central casting. Many of the people who end up filling those positions will not necessarily be ‘Trumpers’. Many of them are Washington Insiders. Then there are the many new voices on the so called right that have emerged in the last few years. Many of them wholeheartedly endorsed Trump and they will now have to defend him. Have they painted themselves into a corner? False Narratives are also spreading like a bad virus. How and Why Trump won the election. What the electoral college is supposed to do. Russia hacked voting machines. Whatever the ‘theory’, the idea is to keep us watching and distracted. The Facts of Life present a major challenge to the future of this country. US Debt levels are over 100 percent of the total economic output of the country. Federal spending continues to skyrocket. Entitlements like Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare will swamp the federal budget in the next decades and we have plans to spend trillions on roads and bridges? We’re also facing significant foreign policy and economic challenges in the next few years. Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55 takes a look at what we have to do to meet these challenges in the next few years. Shouting at people in an airplane aisle, memes and tweets will not work. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, Ryan Plumbing and X Government Cars.

Podcast 563-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-49

Podcast 563-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-49. Father and Son Collaboration. New segments for Podcast 563-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-49. Original content for Bob Davis Podcasts Subscribers. In this show, you’ll hear discussion of the election so far. With the next scheduled state by state poll roundup podcast at the end of October and again just before the election we try to deal with substance in this show. Trump’s response in the debate to Chris Wallace’s question about abiding by the results of the general election on November 8th doesn’t come up. While we reacted to the statement in the debate, we’re both so focused on policy we didn’t think to talk about it in the show. The explosion of election and democracy issue the last few days shows the hysteria surrounding simple statements made by candidates. If you attempt to clarify a statement suddenly you’re “in the tank” for one of the candidates. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are adults and they can defend themselves without so called journalists, surrogates and talking heads telling us what the candidate ‘intended’ to say. Live from Los Angeles we talk about Los Angeles city issues, Trump’s foreign and economic policy and Andrew’s reaction as a Millennial to both candidates in the debate. While Trump is two or more points below Clinton in some of the key states, I bring up the wild card probability for the New York Developer to win the election. Could the pundits and the pollsters and so called ‘experts’ be wrong? We also look at Clinton and Trump claims concerning the economy, foreign policy, and their approach to governing. Political junkies should find welcome relief in this podcast from rhetoric because we deal with substantive issues. Old thinking, New Thinking, foreign affairs and policy, defense policy, economics and and rhetorical flourishes of the candidates. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul and Hydrus Performance.