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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

Sponsored by Brush Studio

 

 

 

Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617

When You’re Up To Your Ass In Alligators It’s Hard To Remember Your Original Objective Was To Drain The Swamp. The president has turned Freedom Caucus supporters into enemies. Republicans learn governing without principle is tough. In Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Republican Division Caused By The Left?

If you want to know the truth, so the saying goes, don’t have an opinion. Some republicans believe their division is caused by the political left.  What’s dividing republicans is a lack of adherence to principle.

Drinking From A Poisoned Well

One of the lines from the “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” is, “Water Water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. The republican ship sits in a becalmed salt water sea, unable to drink, dying of thirst. Surrounded by a sea of information. Dying from a lack of wisdom. Talk about it in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Details Details

North Korea? Budgets? Policy? Subsides? Federal Agencies and what they do? Foreign Relations? Whatever. Drain the swamp and call me when it’s over.

Goals and Principles

What is the goal of the modern republican party? Populism? I’ll tell you why the media’s term for republicans these says is more poison. What are the principles of the GOP these days? Why did you vote? Was there a reason behind why you got involved in politics in the first place?

House Divided

A political party that follows too many threads and calls them ‘principles’ is a party that can easily be divided. Churchill saved the west with one idea in mind. Never Give Up.

Controlling Means of Production

It seems like America is living in a socialist construct. Republicans and Democrats have consistently voted for community control through direct ownership or regulation of the means of production. Yes, Republicans and Democrats have built and empowered the surveillance state, conducted the wars, added regulations, let out the contracts.

Dependency

These days, dependence on the state isn’t just for the urban poor. Corporations and individuals are widely dependent on the government for all kinds of payments, contracts, subsidies and opportunities.

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom is a radical idea. We have less and less of it these days. If you want a party that promotes freedom more is required of you than repeating slogans and wearing hats. Freedom asks more than supporting a personality. Join me in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Sponsored by X Government Cars [powepress]

 

 

Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal

In Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal, everything comes to an end. True in life. True in politics. Voters sent Republicans and Donald Trump to Washington in 2016. One of if not the most important issues was repealing Obama Care. On Friday, March 24th 2016 the president and the republican party made a colossal mistake and broke a major campaign promise to voters.

A Waterloo. A Donnybrook

An ill-conceived ‘repeal and replace’ bill never made it to the floor of the House for a vote. First the President blamed this donnybrook on the republican Freedom Caucus. Ultimately Trump blamed democrats. Blame anyone or anything. Never yourself. Now the president says he will court democrats. My reaction in Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

They’re not listening

The republican rank and file suddenly wonders what happened. Fed a steady stream of fairy tales from the right wing media they thought President Trump had one of the most effective and productive first 100 days in history. What happened? A new president who claimed the government should be run like a business was taught a very important lesson. The United States Federal government is most decidedly not a business. Find out why in Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

Rich Moderate Businessmen Rule

Members of Congress and the Senate have their own ideas about things. Members of Congress and the Senate do not work for the President. The president does not tell members what to do. Rather than lobby effectively, president bluster spent the days leading up to the vote blowing the horn of a semi tractor and bellowing to the press he was a team player. Except when he isn’t.

Is The GOP dying?

This podcaster made three predictions before the election. First, that New York Developer Donald Trump could win the presidency. Second, that an Obama Care repeal would not pass. Third, Trump would destroy the republican party. Two of those predictions have now come true. The third depends on what republican voters do now.

They’re Not Listening

Why don’t they do what we tell them, they cry. The fact is republican congressmen and senators cannot rely on any kind of support structure from the rank and file or grassroots republican rank and file. They don’t do what ‘you’ tell them to do because ‘you’ don’t do anything. A party founded on principle today has no principle and no rudder. What controls the republican party? Rich businessmen who support moderate religious republicans.

Suddenly Trump’s a Democrat?

Whether you’re talking about the US Congress or the ‘republican’ Minnesota legislature, you vote one way, and you get something completely different. Now you have a ‘republican-populist’ president ready to make common cause with the progressive democratic party because he’s miffed at the Freedom Caucus? Principle. There’s that nasty little word again. Let’s talk about it in Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

It’s A New Day When YOU Say

Find out what you need to do to actually make these politicians do what you want. It’s not pretty. It’s not fun saying it. The failure to repeal the ACA is a political mistake of titanic proportions. It will go down in history along side ‘Read My Lips’ and the Isolationist republicans before World War II. All things must pass. Maybe its time for a new day to dawn.

Time to look to ourselves rather than personalities. In Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

Sponsored by X Government Cars.

 

 

Podcast 613-Rising Tide? Trump’s Minimal Economic Impact

We’re Growing Again Right?

Trump ballyhoos new numbers. Seems like the new president is turning our economy around. A rising tide? What does an improving economy look like? Are there actions that cause real economic growth? Do you think new leaders are taking those actions?

Republicans Know How To Fix The Economy Right?

Deregulation. Tax cuts and reform. Infrastructure construction. Campaign Pledges were made. Pledges spurred optimism. Furthermore promises can be kept because republicans are in charge and republicans understand business. So the story goes.

Trump Has Already Started Making Things Better Right?

Trump claims credit for the new numbers. Can a new president have an economic impact after less than 90 days?

What’s Better?

How do you define economic success for the United States? Better job? More money? Saving a job? Getting a loan for business or housing? Seeing your 401K account fatten because of stock performance? Cheaper gas? GDP? Productivity? Improved employment? Interest Rates? Jobs coming back to America? Consequently how do you know when it’s working?

What Has Been Done?

Because of the new numbers coverage exploded. However, what have Trump and the new Congress actually done? Executive orders on regulation. Business and the environment. Pipelines. Budget cuts. Trade and the budget. In conclusion, is there an impact on the economy overall?

How Do You Know?

Who are the people that put these reports together and what methodology do they use? How do economists and traders judge these numbers? Seems like people accept them at face value. Should you place confidence in these reports?

What Actually Works?

Are there specific actions that can be taken to grow our economy? If business and economic philosophy is important, what do our leaders believe? Do you think there is a standard approach to economics and government in Washington? More importantly, we know ideas counter to the current approach exist. Will the new congress and president embrace them?

Back To The ’50’s

Let’s face it. We have a sclerotic, 1950’s style government. People are developing and using new technological tools developed for the 21st Century. Moving fast toward building a new world. Block Chain Currencies. Improved Communication tools. Robotic manufacturing. Higher productivity. Government might be out of step with those developments.

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 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

Can We Have The Room?

Time to clear the air. It’s getting harder to talk politics every day. On the heels of a presidential address to a joint session of congress things seemed to calm down. Then President Trump tweeted from his rooms at Mar A Lago. Trump alleges President Obama spied on him at Trump Tower. Suddenly it’s the end of the world. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

During the election Republicans told everyone they would repeal Obama Care. Now suddenly ‘conservatives’ like Charles Krauthammer are telling people attempts by some republicans to repeal an entitlement are bad because “you can’t repeal an entitlement“. Isn’t that why people voted for republicans? In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Parallel Universe

We live side by side. Speak the same language. Shop the same stores. However, we live in different countries. Use completely different information sources. Believe completely different histories. Listen. Read. Watch only things we agree with. Tumult. Confusion. Frustration. We’re told what will happen not given news. News is a recitation of facts about things which have happened. Not a recitation of predictions about what’s going to happen.

Proof In The Pudding

People getting their jobs back at the factory? Economic growth at 4 percent? Respect for the United States across the world? Draining the Swamp? Making America Great. Again? Time will tell. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Digging In

Wanna talk politics? Dig in. Help your audience dig in. Pick your poison. Dictator. Fascist. Racist. Or, Great Man. Elected by a landslide. Keeper of a mandate. A revolution. That’s not politics. Not discussion of policy with an open mind. This is riding on a train. North. South. East. West. Pick a track.

Cowards

I don’t like any of them. They’re all cowards. Doesn’t matter if there’s an R or a D in front of their name. Say one thing. Do another. Demand the media defend them. Demand the people defend them. Pass more laws impossible to understand or debate. Engage in one intrigue after another. Another investigation. Trial. Debate. Protest. Outrage. Rinse and repeat. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Advancing The Story

Hard out here for a Podcaster. Best thing. One on one talks. Challenge. Try to make sense out of it all. Grow our thinking. Enjoyed our one on one. Ok you guys. You can have the room back.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 597-Pure Insanity

Trump Sets The Pace

In Podcast 597-Pure Insanity. Controversial executive orders. Cabinet confirmations. A Supreme Court nomination. The robust legislative agenda. Trump’s White House is setting the pace. Media and the partisan left is struggling to keep up. Any action taken by a republican is met with derision and a firestorm of social media reaction. Just mentioning a Trump initiative, executive order or tweet means an  argument. Scenarios of the death and destruction caused by all things Trump have reached hysterical levels.

Hysteria and Pure Insanity

Now it’s democrats talking about secession, impeachment and Coup d’etat. What is a coup? Why would the president plan a Coup against himself? There is no evidence of a Coup being planned against the United States government. Clearly those writing such things do not understand what a Coup really is. Dusting off an old French word to make the Trump administration seem darker and less legitimate is the goal. Defining the term and explaining why suggesting a Coup is an insult to your intelligence, is part of Podcast 597-Pure Insanity.

Cal-Exit

Talk of California seceding from the United States generated a lot of coverage. Remember when  right wingers talked up secession at the beginning of the Obama Presidency? Now it’s left wingers. Would California secede? Aside from the obvious question of legality, without California’s votes and money the chances of a democrat being elected President of the United States would be very low. So…

…Forget secession.

Trump will be impeached. Uh. No. Not unless democrats gain a majority in both houses of congress in 2018. Is it necessary to remind everyone Impeachment would result in the Presidency of Mike Pence? With no shortage of hate for the Vice President on social media and at protests, one wonders whether the overwrought and bereft left consider impeachment would leave them with an even more conservative president. Unfortunately it’s necessary to point this out in Podcast 597-Pure Insanity.

Why? Because They Can

Some have forgotten history and context and how the Representative Republic of the United States works. Some think cabinet positions are elected. Others don’t understand that while legislative minorities have rights, majorities do entitle control of committees, rules and certain appointments as well as the legislative agenda. Not only do republicans have legislative majorities the party controls the executive branch, many state legislatures and governor’s offices. While opposition and protest are the right of Americans maybe the opposition should be asking how did a supposedly dying GOP managed to garner these majorities? Is it possible some voters agree with them?

There are people in the United States happy with actions taken by the new president. They like his executive actions and his picks for the cabinet and his pick for the Supreme Court. They might even cheer when they hear Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary suggest government schools really aren’t doing a very good job and that competition in the form of vouchers and charter schools is a good thing. They are perfectly satisfied with the idea of cutting regulation and taxes. Despite the caterwauling on the left this is hardly a national crisis or the first glimmerings of American fascism.

Social Media Cesspool

In Podcast 597-Pure Insanity, nowhere is the left’s increasingly impotent rage more apparent than on social media. Memes, videos, live sessions, tweets, angry rants, de-friending and blocking. The Social Media Cesspool, with its misspelled signs confusion about history and how our government works has become a place where people post to live and live to post. A place where anger and extremism are encouraged. People wonder whether it will change. Will it? Why would it?

One thing social media is good for is cat and dog pictures and videos, performances of song and dance and all things pure and real. Maybe it’s time for everyone to take a step back, a break from the day to day news and social media and consider what is most important in life. Did you ever think you’d see the day when you would hope to see pictures of people’s dogs or see a performance of a song?

That day has come.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating Of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 596-Our Values

Journalism’s new norm is reaction. It is called News. In Podcast 596-Values, news coverage today is a reaction to something someone said or wrote. News is reaction to a new initiative by some government entity. Donald Trump hasn’t been president for a month yet. Already it seems like a year. Trump’s pace of executive orders, executive actions, tweets and initiatives allows him to dominate the media battle space while he cooks up another controversy stew to cauterize yesterday’s controversy.

In Podcast 596-Values, where is the media battle ground? It’s not the Internet. It’s some some battlefield in Europe or Virginia where armies clashed. It’s not a battlefield with stories of élan, bravery or great deeds. The media battle space is our brain. This battlefield is as small or as expansive as it needs to be. As the media storm rages and the wind blows, how do we know our tent is securely fastened and isn’t going to blow away? It call comes down to something called values.

In Podcast 596-Our Values, time to take a pause in this daily insanity of back and forth partisan media coverage. A break from ‘journalists’ who call two or three people, get some quotes, write it up and call it a day. Time to take a look at what we believe as individuals and as a people. Democrat, Republican, Populist, Populist Nationalist, Libertarian, Communist, Socialist, Moderate, Partisan, and Extreme alike. We’re all on a journey together in our lifetime on this planet.

What do we believe? What are the Values we hold dear? Where do those values come from? How do those values anchor us when the gales of change blow up even when those gales are generated from the hot air of politicians in Washington? Politicians who cry and grandstand secure in the knowledge the things they say and do won’t be investigated for any length of time or to any real conclusion?

Reporters determine our values by looking at the latest poll or driving to a shopping center and asking people in the parking lot a few questions. The result is a few hundred words taking the ‘temperature’ of regular everyday ‘folk’. Don’t have any supporters of the president in your state to talk to? Just drive across the state line to the first town and sit in the parking lot of a Safeway or Piggly Wiggly until mom and the kids show up, or chat up and write up what old uncle Frank thinks, while he sits in his 1997 Lincoln waiting for Aunt June. The headline? “Middle America Supports Trump”. Boom.

Work on a national TV show? Find that article about middle america. Get that pollster on the show. Find that Congressmen who says that crazy stuff. Get that woman on from that foundation. Say some stuff. Get some calls. Move on to the next ‘story’. Clicks. Listens. Comments. Calls. Ratings!

The battlefield is the mind. How do you avoid becoming a casualty in the partisan political war? It’s increasingly a battlefield filled with threats. More and more it’s a battlefield better characterized as a moonscape no man’s land, where the shell shocked wander, dazed and confused. Survival in this environment depends on what we believe. Why we believe it. Where we learned it. Who taught us. Where we get our information. How we check our information. What anchors us in the storm, or what kind of ground we have pounded our tent pegs into.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show Number 59.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016 Guest Andrew Davis and I have a father and son discussion of some of the big takeaways from 2016 and a look ahead to 2017. This isn’t one of those big stories of the year countdowns that populate the media at the end of every year. Just some thoughts about the year from both of us. What we have seen and what we thought was significant.

Of course in the United States, the big story of the year was Election 2016. Father and son talk about the winners and losers this year and how to stay informed going into 2017. The biggest loser of 2016 was traditional broadcast and cable television news and what is generally referred to as the mainstream media. This year though, you could add broadcast talk radio to the list. The biggest offense for these outlets was the penchant for predicting the future, picking a winner and endorsing a candidate.

From the media perspective the biggest winner was social media and You Tube. According to a recent study by Pew, more people got their news from social media and You Tube than ever before. This is a tectonic shift away from broadcast radio news and news delivered over traditional sources like broadcast television and cable television. This shift has provoked efforts to control what news and links people see and hear on social media sources.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016, the biggest surprise in 2016, for traditional media and politics in 2016 was Trump’s Electoral Victory. For political elites inside the beltway and those who believed what old line traditional media told them, the emergence of Donald J. Trump in the primaries, his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate and his electoral victory was a shock. The biggest factor in politics in 2016 were the misconceptions fostered by terrible reporting and analysis.

Late in the election season the Clinton campaign and the White House introduced the idea that the Russians somehow ‘hacked’ the US election. While a convenient explanation for bereft democrats, even at this late date proof of a Russian Interference is lacking. Moreover, proof the alleged Russian intervention resulted in actually effecting the outcome of the election is even more elusive. Father and son disagree on this topic. This disagreement that carried over from the radio show to intense discussions with friends well into the evening.

With change back on the front burner in 2017 our discussion turns to how to get good information. There will be a need to evaluate the performance of the Trump administration and arguments against its initiatives. With so called fake news, opinion journalism rather than good investigative journalism, having good sources is more important that ever.

Once you have goos sources, you also need context. Good sources include source materials such as reports, think tank studies, documents, and live video. Context comes from reading history, source documents, non fiction books on various topics and your interests. Both of us caution against pop culture books which are nothing more than the same type of rehashing and alarmist coverage you see in social media, cable news and talk radio. They are designed to persuade, rather than inform. Certainly one can say think tanks have biases, which are usually fairly obvious, but reliance on source material from different parts of the spectrum and academic interests gives you the background and context to understand the biases without being manipulated.

Finally, the big issues in 2017 to watch will be the Trump Team’s transition, foreign policy issues including the South China Sea, ISIS, Europe, Russia and China, foreign trade, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s role in US foreign policy, United States Economic policy. Politically what the 115th congress does and how it does what it does will be significant stories in 2017. Supporters of the new President will be hard pressed almost from day one to defend his actions, and the opposition is treading through brand new territory. Both sides will need objective facts.

Finally, we have a little fun with the millennial obsession with smart phones and the hand wringing over ‘so many’ celebrity deaths in 2016 and thank the sponsored, supporters and listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts throughout 2016. Happy New Year. See you in 2017.