Resolved: Obama is a capitalist

McCain and Obama both support free enterprise. They also both clearly support a progressive tax system, but argue about where to draw certain lines: a progressive tax system meaning wealthy people expected to contribute more. The question only is how much more. They both support government intervention when necessary to prevent a crisis.

Obama was just endorsed by The Economist. They worry a bit about a Democratic controlled Congress, which is likely to be a lot more liberal than Obama’s presidency. Will Obama stand up to them if necessary? I think he will. Will he represent the concerns of workers and poor and middle-class Americans more than Bush has or McCain would? Very likely, yes. Is that sufficient to make him a socialist? Are you kidding me?

Clearly both candidates both support certain socialist programs in very small doses. But in neither candidate do I see a wholesale desire to capture property and profits from private individuals or corporations. Neither has proposed large-scale nationalization of currently privately-held assets. Neither has any sort of background showing sympathy for any real socialist causes.

As an Obama supporter, I am also convinced that he will (unlike Bush) remember that he is President of the United States, and not President of the States that Voted for Him. But that carries us into a different thread. Suffice it to say, I am convinced Obama will not neglect or undermine the basic essentials of our free-market economy.

There’s bountiful evidence of Obama’s fundamental support of the free market, and nothing specious inferences to the contrary. Can we please put this “Obama is a socialist” canard to rest?

I’m annoyed enough about this to almost open a Pit Thread, but let’s keep this civil.

What are concrete examples of Obama being a capitalist? Are there any concrete examples of Obama being socialist? I want some firsthand sources, here. No “Obama is secretly a socialst and is only pretending to be a capitalist” nonsense, please.

Obama used to describe himself as a progressive - that was right here in articles in the Chicago Reader. This was when he was running for the legislature in the 1990s.

Now, progressives in America tend to be further to the left than run-of-the-mill liberals, so that has always concerned me a little. And his stances have always been more in favor of regulation and taxation as a social tool than I would personally favor.

Still, that doesn’t mean he’s a socialist. Just wrong.

Actually more regulation has been accepted by most of the looters who have seen the wreckage that they caused. It is easy to see how oversight could have prevented this mess. Few still stick to the idea that regulation inhibits the financial industry. Even Greenspan has seen the light. Heres a video of Paulson talking about a new wave of needed regulation.
Some learn.

Yeah, I’m not sure deregulation has many fans right now.

More regulation? I hardly think that’s the whole answer - rather I think better and more effective regulation is in order. Sometimes that means more - but not always, and wise policy would understand the difference.

You’re just making semantic arguments here. I seriously doubt gonzomax was advocating for ineffective or worse regulations.


Between the two candidates, I trust Obama must more on this exact point (a big reason why I voted for him.)

Well, that’s all right. What matters is that we’ve got the clone properly programmed and ready to step in.

[rant]Americans are obsessed with labels: capitalist, socialist, liberal, right-winger, nutjob, whatever. The most ardent free-market people I’ve ever heard still think that we should have a government-provided police force, for instance, and that traffic rules are a good thing. Socialists, then! Allowing the government to take over what could be a profitable enterprise!

Bah, humbug. There’s nothing pure about any of, it’s just where you draw the arbitrary lines and what you say when you point the finger.

I will be tickled pink if you are right (absolutely no pun intended on “pink” or “right”).

Mr Obama seems to believe in the basic goodness and work ethic of the masses. He seems to emphasis plans for “change” that involve tax-based redistribution of the wealthy.

In the current situation where greed has gone wild and unpunished, it’s a powerful message, and it will propel him to the Presidency.

I hope he sticks to one promise: more taxes only on those making over $250,000/yr (although I thought I saw a recent ad here in Kansas where he said $200,000/yr.)

I think that Mr Obama’s heart is socialist, and his personal policy preferences are progressive. Both those tendencies reflect a sense of decency, goodwill and concern for your fellow man. He is basically a very good guy.

It’s going to be an interesting ride to see if Mr Obama and the Democratic Congress can prove that we can become a kinder and gentler nation without killing the capitalist goose that created our golden egg. Can we effect legislation that promotes jobs, benefits and productivity at the same time? Can we regulate better? Can we find a way to prevent lying cheating self-interested bastards from screwing the polloi?

And will it turn out that the polloi really do want to work hard, pay their mortgages and live within their means? We did pretty bad so far getting mortgages to the underserved, letting them overborrow, letting bad borrowing then get extended to everyone, and finally letting the greedy make fake paper out of it. Are the polloi more noble and principled than the powerful? I personally doubt it.

I don’t recall Mr Obama introducing legislation for better regulation. I don’t recall him voting down a host of taxes during his legislative career. So I am skeptical he will keep his promises.

I am most skeptical of the notion of “reforming Washington.” What the ___?! “Washington” is the collective of representatives the polloi voted in. Anyone who says they are going to “reform Washington” needs to publish a list of representatives whose constituency has blundered by voting them in and tell that constituency to vote them out. I haven’t seen either Mr McCain or Mr Obama come up with that list.

I thought progressives started calling themselves that when the conservatives turned liberal into a dirty word.

If socialist means helping the less fortunate get health care and save their homes, we have a lot of socialists. Not everybody was in love with enriching the millionaires and looting the system. It will be interesting to see who fights to keep things like they are. Now that they have a trillion dollars of tax money to play with, the financial experts might want to keep things away from the public. They already are redacting the paperwork to keep us from knowing how much they are spending. The transparency has suddenly evaporated.

But his spleen is capitalist, so it all balances out.

Seriously, read C K Dexter Haven’s post about labels. Like most things in life, there is a continuum, and we all fall somewhere in the middle-ish area.

Nope. Progressivism has a fairly venerable history, although the current marketing of the term does indeed seem to be as an alternative to ‘liberal’.

If Obama is a socialist, then so are McCain and Palin, and the United States has been a socialist country since it’s inception.

Or, Obama, like pretty much everyone in the history of the US, favors a more-or-less capitalist economy overlaid on differing levels of government regulation, subsidy, ownership and redistribution.

I’m still waiting to see some credible evidence that Obama is in any way socialist. Anyone? At all? So far it continues to be based on vague inference or “a feeling.”

Come on, if he really wants to government to control assets and profits, let’s see it. Where are the policies that suggest this?

Forget “labels.” I want a concrete piece of evidence, such as a platform plank, or policy statement of some kind. Where are they? What are Obama’ supposedly socialist policies that are in any way different in substance from the economic policies of Bush or McCain? Obama draws the lines in different places, that’s all. As far a taxes or regulations go, they’re philosophically not different. Progressive taxes, check. Market regulation to prevent abuse, check. That’s not socialist.

He is no socialist.

I’m sorry to embarrass you here Knorf, but "Obama is a Socialist was early Last Week - later in the week he was a Marxist. Last week, Obama was a terrorist.

This week, Obama is An anti-Semite.

Please try to keep up here, and in the future, DO attend all meetings. Next week, Obama will be the anti-christ, so I expect you to be up to speed.

Ouch, you’re right; I’m out of touch.

I’ll try to keep up better.


'Course they do: who asks the professor to curve the test, the guy with a 59 or the guy with a 97?

Vox Imperatoris