Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 83 Astral Silver 280 SL
Location: Planet Houston
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The Rise of Social Democracy in America
America is about to change. Many of the policies espoused by social democrats in the first half of the 20th century have been put into practice by social democratic governments throughout the industrialized world. Industries have been nationalized, public spending has seen a large long-term rise, and the role of the state in providing free-to-user or subsidized health care and education has increased tremendously. Many of the reforms made by social democrats in Europe, such as the establishment of national health care services, have been embraced by liberals and conservatives, and there is no support outside of a radical fringe for a return to 19th-century levels of public spending and economic regulation - and for good reason - health care costs, spread over the entire electorate, are no longer a burden to business. Here in the United States, we have embraced a number of features of Social Democracy such as public health and environmental protection, and have even instituted some aspects of the broad social solutions seen in Europe via Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which both enjoy bipartisan support to the point The Right Wing, despite every effort, has been unable to derail them for decades.
In general, contemporary Social Democrats support:
A mixed economy consisting of both private enterprise and government-owned or subsidized programs of education, health care, child care and related social services for all citizens.
An extensive system of social security (although usually not to the extent advocated by socialists), with the stated goal of counteracting the effects of poverty and insuring the citizens against loss of income following illness, unemployment or retirement.
Government bodies that regulate private enterprise in the interests of workers and consumers by ensuring labor rights, consumer protections, and fair market competition over the interests of wealth and capital.
Environmentalism and environmental protection laws; for example, funding for alternative energy resources and laws designed to combat global warming.
A value-added/progressive taxation system to fund government expenditures.
A secular and progressive social policy, although this varies markedly in degree.
A respect for all cultures in a given society
Fair trade over free trade.
A foreign policy supporting the promotion of democracy, the protection of human rights and where possible, effective Multilateralism and negotiotion, and an avoidance of Triumphalism and Exceptionalism.
Advocacy of social justice, human rights, social rights, civil rights and civil liberties.
Are you ready? It's on it's way, and it sounds like a better world to me.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
Last edited by FeelTheLove; 02-09-2009 at 07:04 AM.