“One word - Norway. It works there, big time. You want to see the happiest place on earth? it's not Disneyland. Social democracy works in Sweden as well.”
Actually, you added Sweden making it two words, but both countries can be grouped under the Nordic Model, and both countries are scaling back.
Both countries get the majority of their revenues from state ownership of oil.
Both countries taxed their citizens at around 60%, (flat tax – the upper class pays 60% and so does the lower class.) and both had a consumption (sales) tax of around 25%. (Corporations are taxed at around 22% - lower than our corporate tax)
Both countries are about the size of Michigan with a smaller population. (I will address this later) but for now, let’s look at what is happening there.
Lo and behold, since about the 1990’s or so they saw both their oil reserves depleting AND their customers (Europe) began shopping around and found lower prices. Revenues began decreasing, something had to be done, and both began moving away from the “Nordic model”)
“I dunno - concern for your fellow man? You're a Christian, right? Have you read the biblical teachings of Jesus, the things he said about helping the poor and the disadvantaged? Have you read the first chapters of Acts, in which the lives of the early Christians are described? Read Acts 5 to learn the fate of a Christian follower who decided not to share what he had with the Christian community. THAT was socilasm on steroids.”
“Jesus was a socialst - it's all there in the Christian Bible. How do we, as Christians, justify rejecting what he told us to do? At what point does "Do unto others" be replaced with "I got mine, so screw you"?”
You walked right into this one Mike, and this is how I live my life.
The bible (both Old and New Testaments) lays the responsibility on concern for your fellow man squarely on the shoulders of the individual. Show me a bible passage that says, give your money and/or time to the rulers so that they can re-distribute to what they determine are worthy causes.
You won’t find any, because this is an individual responsibility and not a collective responsibility.
Now, the summation I promised earlier.
IMO, socialism works very well in a Micro, but just does not scale well at the Macro level.
Two examples from my life lessons.
1. I attended a very good – strike that – I attended a FANTASTIC High school. This High school was founded by Benedictine Monks in the late 1890’s. I dare you to find a more socialistic environment than a monastery.
Benedictines commit their lives to four things – work, pray, eat and sleep. St. Bede Abbey was built on donated land, and at one time consisted of a working farm, apple orchard, vineyard (yeah the monks make great wine), a print shop and the school. The monks were very close to being self-sufficient, but still had to rely on the surrounding community for help.
- if you want to know how great this school still is, go to Wikipedia and search for St. Bede Academy, Peru, Illinois- you may be surprised at where the graduates go.
2. I now live in Indiana, very close to an Amish community. If you know anything about the Amish, they are probably Evangelicals on steroids. In their community, everyone helps each other. Nobody borrows, nor lends money. You need a barn? OK, we will buy the materials and build one for you. Your bull died? Moses down the road has an extra one. They are some of the kindest, most gentle people you could ever meet, but they still rely on the outside community of capitalists for help. The Home Depot on the NW side of town has a hitching rail for the to tie up their horses. Many of them are carpenters (they built my house) and very precise. However, they rely on friends to drive them to the jobsites AND OWN the power equipment modern construction requires.
My last comment on this socialistic BS.
I donate time AND money to the charities that I deem worthy. That time and money is far in excess of the 3% the leading socialist liar contributes.
And, yes I am Catholic.
And I am a member of the Knights of Columbus, and if I had my way The baby killing Planned Parenthood would never get a nickel of my tax money.