Palin is a collectivist socialist.

John, a libertarian would say that private property owners would be the best at maximizing the value of the North Slope oil field. From a libertarian perspective, the thing to do would be to privatize the North Slope and let private competition sort out how to best maximize the North Slope value.

The Alaskans have chosen to hold their mineral rights collectively and distribute out profits from that collective ownership. I don’t have an objection to this, but I fail to see how it could be considered a capitalist endeavor, since collective ownership of property is a typical feature of socialist economies.

I’d like leave aside inventions, since those are intangible property and have unique issues, and instead do a comparison to land rights. If a government bought up a bunch of farmland, leased it out to farmers, and collected a share of the profits, would you consider that capitalism? To me, that falls under the rubric of feudal-style tenant farming, and I don’t think many people would consider that to be capitalistic.

I’m reading you as drawing a distinction between mineral rights and other types of property rights, and this seems like an arbitrary distinction to me. If you mean something else, please clarify.

In addition…

The US would have obtained mineral rights to the North Slope when it purchased Alaska from Russia. At some point (and I haven’t been able to find out the details online), the US must have either given the North Slope to Alaska or sold it to them.

Either way, the government purchased the mineral rights and is now distributing the wealth from those mineral rights to Alaskans. This looks like classic wealth redistribution to me.

But there’s nothing really capitalistic about the state owning mineral rights. Some amount of property ownership by the government is, of course, necessary for the government to function. But I don’t see how mineral ownership falls under that. It’s not like the government needs mineral rights to run a courthouse or have a place for the legislature to meet.

The US privatized a lot of its mineral rights from the Lousiana Purchase westward through the use of things like homesteading and mineral claims. Alaska could have chosen to take this route, but they chose to keep their mineral rights collectively owned. The US has done this too in many cases. But I think it’s fair to put all of this collective ownership under the rubric of socialism and/or wealth redistribution.

*A note: technically, I don’t consider wealth redistribution and socialism to be the same thing, but they’ve come to be used interchangeably in our political discourse.

Well, I would personally consider things like healthcare and education to be in the same category as roads etc, ie. basic infrastructure for the healthy functioning of society. I suspect Obama is much the same, as are many folks on the left.

All western societies “engineer society to fit a particular definition of ‘more fair’.”, they differ only in degree. An Obama government would presumably engage in more of it than a McCain one, but that’s why he’s a Democrat and McCain is a Republican. It’s kind of the big difference between them, economics wise at least.

What I object to is this utterly daft idea that capitalist vs socialist is some kind of binary state, and the US will switch over if Obama becomes President. Both the binary part and the idea that any President has that much power are silly.

Because he’s talked about redistributing wealth multiple times and when asked about the likelyhood that it would reduce tax revenue he said it was a matter of fairness?

Where are you getting your info that tax revenue would be reduced under Obama’s plan? This CNN article indicates that both Obama’s and McCain’s plan are more or less equal from a revenue standpoint, and neither would significantly impact Federal revenue.

You know, the United States has been redistributing wealth pretty much since it’s inception. So, I’m not going to lose any sleep over either Obama or McCain redistributing wealth, or Alaska’s ongoing flirtations with socialism. I’d prefer to see the US move to a more progressive taxation system overall, and since Obama’s plan is a small step in that direction, I’m good.

Where are people getting this line that Obama’s going to “hand out checks.” All he’s doing is redistributing the tax burden. There aren’t any “checks,” just tax cuts.

Search for the term ‘refundable credit’. It’s all over the place.

A refundable credit means that if someone pays $0 taxes, they can get the credit refunded to them. IE, a check for $4000 from the government. (American Opportunity Tax Credit)

That is not taxing the wealthy to pay for government services that benefit everybody. It is taking money from the wealthy and directly giving it to somebody else.

That is specifically what conservatives are talking about when they call Obama a socialist. It’s not the progressive tax structure in itself. It’s the robbing Peter to pay Paul mentality.

And that shows what lousy senators Obama and Biden are compared with Ted Stevens.

Then conservatives have to call Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and both Bushes socialists too. Because all of those Republican presidents supported the Earned Income Tax Credit. Reagan was especially in favor of it:

If you don’t like refundable tax credits because they offend your conservative principles, fine by me. But quit pretending that this idea of a negative income tax for the working poor is somehow new or particularly insidious when associated with Obama.

This “refundable tax credit” policy is several decades old in our tax code, and it hasn’t ever been any kind of a secret. If you’re just starting to make a fuss about it now in connection with the Obama campaign, you only make yourself look uninformed and credulous.

What’s next, shocked accusations that Obama wants to provide socialized medicine to retired workers over 65? Yeah, he’s got a whole plan for it! It’s called “Medikare” or something! Did you ever hear of anything more sinisterly socialistic? :rolleyes:

From your cite, the American Opportunity Tax Credit is to cover college tuition expenses.

To pay for college. I thought conservatives wanted to expand retraining opportunities so that people could compete in the global economy?

We have a Republican administration nationalizing financial instutions using taxpayer money–that’s about as socialist as you can get, and conservatives are upset about tax credits for college? It’s like a voucher for colleges. I thought conservatives were in favor of educational vouchers.

I assume you noticed that that tax is connected to tuition for those continuing their education. It does not state that those paying 0% will get a check made out to them to spend however they wish.

Duh. The EIC has been around a long time. But Obama is proposing even MORE refundable credits. Here are some additional refundable credits that Obama is proposing:

  • $1,000 “Making Work Pay” Tax Credit. (95%)
  • Refundable $4,000 American Opportunity Tax Credit. (College tuition)
  • Universal 10% Mortgage Interest Tax Credit
  • $2000 Savers Credit fully refundable. (and also a 50 percent of the first $1,000 saved )
  • $3000 Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

So basically, if I’m a head of a family making $50-$60K with a small mortgage, I might pay $5000 in taxes, but if I play the cards right, I’ll get a check back for > $11,000.

The same person wouldn’t qualify for EIC.

[Straight Dope nitpick]
Hay is not straw. Hay is the grass-like leaves of plants grown specifically to feed various cattles. Straw is the the reed-like stems of grain crops that is separated from the grains before milling and used for bedding.
[ /nitpick ].

Oh, so the “socialist” refundable tax credits that you claim to be opposed to, because they are “taking money from the wealthy and directly giving it to somebody else” and involve a “robbing Peter to pay Paul mentality”, are okay by you as long as they’ve “been around a long time”? How come?

Translation: “Refundable credits that are already in the tax code and that Republican presidents have gone on record as supporting are not socialist. But any new or expanded refundable credits that I can blame solely on Obama are socialist, and I’m very very opposed to them because they violate my conservative principles!”

The only possible response is more :rolleyes:.

What difference does that make? Diogenes claimed Obama wasn’t going to be cutting anybody checks, just shifting the tax burden. I provided 5 specific cites that showed where Obama would.

I’m having trouble understanding how a tax credit equals a check from the government. Don’t you have to pay taxes to receive a tax credit and it only applies to the taxes you paid?

Nice strawman. See my reply to Cosmodan. Diogenes want cites on how Obama was cutting checks. I gave him 5 examples. The EIC doesn’t come into play because it is not specific to Obama.

The horror…

No. These are specifically refundable tax credits. Which means that if you don’t pay enough taxes to cover the amount, you’ll get a rebate check in the mail.

Ok, but you also made the additional claim that these tax credits make Obama a socialist. McCain is proposing health care vouchers. Does that make him a socialist too?

Nobody pays $0 in taxes. Those people still pay payroll taxes, social security and other taxes. It’s only fair to give them their money back if they’re working poor. It’s not welfare, it’s their money. It’s just a reversal of the Bush/McCain policies of taking money from the working poor and giving it to billionaires.