They refer to lower taxes for the middle class as socialism or wealth redistribution which they oppose. This is a misuse of the term socialism which means state ownership of key businesses, most commonly power generation, health care, ferries, railways, airlines, oil, insurance, water and telephones. Often a socialist business competes with ordinary capitalist businesses. Sometimes socialist business has a legal monopoly.
More extreme members of the Republican party refer to lower taxes for the middle class as communism. Communism means that goods should be distributed purely according to need, with no regard to effort expended. Any income tax rewards greater effort with greater reward, so it is not communism. The only exception I am aware of is the 100% tax on welfare recipients whose benefits are reduced a dollar for every dollar they earn and the odd rule that home businesses of people on welfare are taxed at 100% of gross earnings. This ensures such a business inevitably must lose money. These two rules strongly discourage enterprise on the part of those at the bottom of the financial heap.
Smaller government really means no regulation of corporations. It really means allowing corporation to lie to, cheat, screw and control the people unimpeded.
What is so strange is Americans simultaneously express a strong desire to reduce government regulation, but recoil in horror at China, a country with low regulation.
I recall my great nervousness flying in an Air Garuda plane in Indonesia, wondering if the Indonesian government had inspection and regulation approaching that of Canada or the USA.
I wouldn’t dream of buying a pharmaceutical in a third world country where there is no government inspection and regulation. I have read that nearly all African pharmaceuticals are watered down, adulterated or counterfeit. That is what corporations naturally do if not regulated because it is cheaper to make fake drugs than real ones.
In 1976, in preparation for writing software for a Canadian credit union, I went on a course in the USA to learn about how the American savings and loan industry worked, in particular in relation to Univac’s First/90 American banking package. I was shocked to learn that every S&L had its own way of computing interest. It was considered a semi-proprietary secret, a way of deliberately deceiving their customers. Univac did not even bother to provide a default honest module. Surely banks and financial institutions should be regulated to be as honest and safe as other industries.
But it does not mean that at all. It means enthusiastic persecution of homosexuals, taking away their civil rights and ensuring they are treated as second class citizens. Republicans fight to deny homosexuals the right to marry, to collect survivor pensions, to qualify for joint income tax benefits, to teach, to adopt, to parent, to hold onto ones biological children, to have secure homes and jobs. This is a milder version of the lynchings of blacks as community entertainment popular in the early part of the last century, all biblically justified by unscrupulous biblical lawyers who distorted the obvious intent of Jesus’s message.
Secondarily family values means making abortion at any time in the 9 month term illegal, or as I look at it, favouring illegal abortion by untrained criminals over legal abortion by trained doctors.
As I see it, the only permanent solution to the stand off between the pro life and pro choice factions is improved birth control. Unfortunately, the religious right core of the Republican party are almost as opposed to birth control and sex education too.
The Republicans also feel they have the duty to interfere with the sex and HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) education programs of other countries, to replace practical fact-based ones with religious/superstition-based ones which are worse than ineffective because they increase the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancy.
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