“I think services that are universally beneficial to the entire public should be socially funded so that everyone can access them regardless of means, paid for proportionately by those who control most of the wealth.”
That is exactly what we now have, Capitalism with progressive taxation to provide Welfare, Government and Public Works. I distinguish between Welfare (usually means-tested), Public works (freeways, bridges, Parks etc, funded by the taxpayer for the use of everyone) and Socialism, which in spite of your attempts to redefine it as a mixture of the above, as all about “State ownership and control of the means of production and distribution.” North Korea is a Socialist state, the USSR, China and Cambodia used to be Socialist States. China today retains the Totalitarianism and the Socialist rhetoric, but is more of a Command Capitalism now. That is, you can make a profit, even get rich, as long as you obey the Party, don’t question the Party, and don’t criticise the Party. If you do disobey, question or criticise, you may find your self as an unwilling organ donor for a party member. Chinese Communism is indistinguishable from Fascism. Several Central American Socialist regimes provide cautionary examples of how Socialism can wreck even wealthy countries’ economies. So I don’t accept that I am a Socialist; I consider myself a Capitalist with a social conscience, who is willing to accept slightly higher taxes to look after the unfortunates in society who can’t look after themselves. I think you might be a Social Conscience Capitalist too!
“College is about learning how to think; how to make connections between seemingly incongruous ideas; how to recognize and apply logic, reason and critical thought to any idea or situation.” I agree that this is what Colleges and Universities used to be for, but for the last 30 years or so they have become about learning what to think, not how to think. Left Wing educators know they can’t do both: if you teach kids to think critically they might learn to criticise the slogans they are being indoctrinated with. Slogans and insults are taught on everything from Abortion: “A woman’s right to choose” you misogynist, Gay Marriage: “Love is Love, Marriage equality” you homophobe, Racism: “Black Lives Matter” you white supremacist, Climate Change: “It is the greatest moral challenge of our generation” you Denier!
All the slogans frame a controversial topic in a way that has only one acceptable response:
- I’m not against a woman’s right to choose, but murdering your own children is pushing that right too far.
- I’m not against equality, but I don’t understand why two same-sex partners need the word “Marriage” to describe their partnership: I supported a Civil Union that gave the couple all the protections and property rights of Marriage, but I think the word “Marriage” should have been reserved for the contract between a breeding pair to raise their children together.
- Of course Black lives matter, but so do white policemen’s lives. The reason 51% of people killed by police is because 53% of violent crime is committed by the 13% of the population who are Black.
- Climate Change is real, but so far is a far more minor problem than the Al Gores of the world predicted nearly 20 years ago. It may even be of net benefit to humanity, but even suggesting that Carbon Emissions may not be a problem gets you lumped in which Anti-Semitic Holocaust Deniers.
Only a few independent minded young people can resist this flood of politically correct nonsense. Engage most of them in conversation and question their stance on any of these things, and if you are not immediately converted by their vacuous slogan, they switch to applying the associated hate label to you. As far as they are concerned they have won the argument.
I salute you for engaging in reasoned civil debate: that is unusually civil of you. I even accept your label of Comrade in the spirit it was offered.
I lived and worked in Seattle for several months back in 2005, and formed an admiration for the American people which remains with me to this day, but I am an Australian citizen which is why some of why comments probably sound odd to you. In New Zealand and Australia, the Fire Service is funded by a levy on Insurance Companies, who benefit most from having fires put out. I didn’t know that was not the case in the USA.
Otherwise we are similar Countries; both have Federal and State Governments; Our Liberal Party resembles your Republicans and our Labor (it’s even spelt the American way) Party is like your Democrats. We also have a Green Party for the lunatic left, who consider the “Tax and spend” policies of the Labor Party to be too Conservative.
Seattle was a left wing town, but the people I met retained the ability to disagree on politics but still remain friends afterwards: from what I see on the News, it looks like America has lost that tolerance and respect for opposing views. That was one of the things I admired about American culture: I’d be saddened if you lose that.