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View Diary: Why doesn't the plutocrat owned American media report on the European social safety net? (179 comments)

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  •  Rhetorical Question... Right? (7+ / 0-)

    perhaps it has something to do with the inconvenient fact that 60% of americans have a negative reaction to "socialism", while only 31% have a positive reaction to "socialism". Perhaps if these responses were reversed, americans would be more open to the benefits of "european socialism" and teh media would have to approach the subject more objectively.

    the demographic breakdown of american's reactions to "socialism" and capitalism" is even more disturbing, as it details a racial rift that, i'm sure, explains a lot about why 90%+ of repub voters are white-americans

      white-americans: capitalism (55%-35%); socialism (24%-68%)
       black-americans: capitalism (41%-51%); socialism (55%-36%)
       latin-americans: capitalism (32%-55%); socialism (44%-49%)

    white-americans prefer capitalism to socialism by 31%, while black-americans prefer socialism to capitalism by 14% and hispanic prefer socialism by 12%. so not only are white-americans the only group that prefers capitalism to socialism, they are far more imbalanced in their support than either blacks or hispanics.

    perhaps the day will come when white-americans will evolve to the level of socio-economic-political awareness of black and hispanic americans. perhaps. but as long as white-americans prefer bachmann to obama 48% - 41%, i think that the adoption of any aspect of "european socialism" in the near future is highly unlikely.

    but good on you, Democrats Ramshield, for your effort to expose more americans to the benefits of european socialism. perhaps if they hear about it enough, even white-america will, finally, get it!


    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    60% of White-Americans voted for the TeaBigots in 2010. Yet, some Kossacks think Obama is the problem. I guess it's easier to blame Obama than it is to blame your momma

    by OnlyWords on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 06:26:39 AM PST

    •  In fact, Republicans regularly accuse Obama... (9+ / 0-)

      ....of wanting to impose a European-style social democracy on America.  This is, of course, a bizarre accusation on many levels:  it's entirely false and most Americans, as the diary notes, have no idea what a European-style social democracy is.

      My guess is that a number of things underly the fearmongering.

      First, of course, "socialism." I'm always surprised it's only 60% who have a negative reaction.   When was the last time a major media figure or a major-party politician said anything nice about "socialism" (closest exception: Bernie Sanders...and he's not in a major party).

      Second, taxes.  European social democracy is associated, not entierly irrationally, with higher taxes.  It should actually be said that European tax systems do sometimes leave something to be desired. I don't mind the higher overall rate.  But EU countries tend to rely much more heavily on consumption taxes.  And income taxes, at least in Germany, are structured in a way that severely penalizes two-career households, effectively forcing many women to choose between career and children.  But, of course, these details are not what concern voters who fear "European-style social democracy." They just don't want their taxes going up for any reason. (The GOP is, of course, much more interested in shifting the tax burden onto the poor than in reducing most of its voters taxes...especially at the state level where they actually have to balance budgets.  Here in Oklahoma, they're trying to cut the upper income tax and corporate tax rates, and pay for it by eliminating a series of tax credits that go to lower-income families.  Well, it certainlu isn't European-style social democracy!).

      Third, fear of learning from foreign countries.  As the historian Dan Rodgers describes in his brilliant book Atlantic Crossings, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American progressives actively learned from European policies and social thinkers.  But after WOrld War I, this exchange of ideas slowed.  By the 1930s, FDR was giving speeches explicitly denying that there was anything European about the New Deal.

      (Please excuse the typos and lack of links in this comment.  This is written on an iPad, which makes both proofreading and opening other tabs while commenting very difficult.)

      Tunis...Cairo...Tripoli...Wall Street

      by GreenSooner on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 06:53:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for the book note (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenSooner, Russgirl

        I'd missed that one, and just now looked it up. Even the minimalist Amazon notation mentioning things like city planning reminds me that almost no one in this country knows anything about the work of Lewis Mumford or Jane Jacobs. And I can count on the fingers of one hand the people I know who've read Christopher Alexander's groundbreaking work A Pattern Language (link to not very wonderful Wiki on him but best I could find quickly).

        Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

        by Mnemosyne on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 07:47:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Look at all the terms used to (5+ / 0-)

      divide, terrorize, obfuscate or divert the narrative on any given issue, and all of them were carefully crafted for maximum impact on public thinking by the conservatives.
      Socialism bad, capitalism GOOD. Pro-abortion bad, pro-life GOOD. Conservatives will always frame the debate in the scariest terms they can think up, and socialism still carries negative connotations left over from the cold war, so that's bad. They won't ever let themselves get into a debate about why it's bad.
      Conservatives have control of the label maker. Obamacare, job creators, family values. Then, as Certainot aludes to above, the terminology of the debate is absorbed by the media because it's easy to write the copy that way, and the debate becomes what conservatives want it to be - liberals will destroy America.

      Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

      by Eric Twocents on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 07:52:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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