Another possible lesson to be learned from the past
I recently read from a reader of the PV Times about a message from 60 years ago that seems to depict where we are headed today. I would like to expand on that with a warning from 1919, over 100 years ago.
1. Corrupt the young, get them away from religion, get them interested in sex. Make them superficial, destroy their ruggedness.
2. Get control of all means of publicity, and hereby get people’s minds off their government by reifocusing their attention on athletics, sexy books, plays and other trivialities.
3. Divide people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance.
4. Destroy people’s faith in their natural leaders by holding the latter up to contempt, ridicule, and obloquy.
5. Always preach true democracy but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.
6. By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit, produce fear of inflation, rising prices and general discontent.
7. Ferment strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorder, and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of the government toward these disorders.
8. By specious argument cause a breakdown of the old moral virtues, honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness.
9. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext with a view of confiscation of them, leaving the population helpless.
Where did these words of wisdom come from? Who was able to predict in 1919 what is seemingly going on now in our nation?
These nine rules were seized in a raid in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1919. The seized files were marked “Communist Rules For Revolution.”
Every one of these rules are happening to some extent. Much of our government and citizens are no longer concerned about the country. We see marches in the street and are bombarded by the news media to support their agenda, which is not necessarily in the best interest of the country overall.
It is time to see what the schools are teaching our kids
I am proud of living in Nye County because our elected officials and patriot citizens have gone a long way toward protecting our freedoms via passage of Second Amendment and Bill of Rights legislation. Hopefully, legislation against the 1619 project is in the future!
The “Woke” cancel culture concept and Critical Race Theory training is sweeping the nation and needs to be denounced as it has no place in our education system. A recent national poll dictates “Americans overwhelmingly reject ‘woke’ race and gender policies in K-12 education.” Just because we do not have children in school does not negate our responsibility. For too long we have ignored what is being taught in our schools and we are now reaping the “benefits.” We know firsthand the socialist-leaning college professors have graduated two generations of our Marxist indoctrinated youth, including some of my grandchildren. Sadly, now it is being pushed into even lower education curriculum and it is crucial that we need to get involved.
Asking school boards and superintendents what they are teaching most likely is an exercise in futility, we need a different approach.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is the creation of desired public information resource to eliminate accidental or deliberate overlook. Receiving an official FOIA requesting the entire curriculum , but not limited to Critical Race Theory, equality training, indoctrination of gender recognition/identification and/or diversity prospectus being taught in Nye County schools holds legal liability for false or lack of public information. A good resource to FOIA is to “Parents Defending Education” as they are a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from socialist activists promoting harmful agendas to radically change our country.
The truth, not defending our parties should be our goal
Unfortunately, many of us believe untrue information probably for one reason or another, we have been programmed. For example, I am a capitalist, a retired multimillionaire, and unlike Dave Thomas, and many others who call themselves conservatives, I do not have to depend on a government check, not even Social Security, to get by comfortably. Town farms in another state. I receive oil and gas revenue. I receive dividends, and most recently revenue from a wind turbine. I made a lot of my wealth in real estate. I pay a greater percentage of my income in taxes than Trump and the billionaires. Yet, according to Thomas and many others, I am a socialist liberal Democrat leaning toward communism.
By the way, for all those who write for the conservatives, I like David Jaronik the best. He follows up his statements with supporting facts. Most importantly, he doesn’t challenge a writer of opposition to a bar room brawl, and he doesn’t resort to insults and name calling. I happen to agree with him that we need to bring our spending and revenue toward balance. One thing I am definitely opposed to is allowing our young women to have babies without husbands, and them getting paid by our government for doing so. Why get married? Get a boyfriend. Let him also support you and at the same time get free money from the taxpayers for the next 18 years. THIS IS MORALLY WRONG!
Also, Linda, why the nick-picking toward Ms. Stevens? We don’t need a lecture in Government 101. All of us know the basic history that we are a republic. For your information I spent a week in Denmark several years ago. Denmark is a democratic socialistic society. I talked to some of its working citizens. Yes, they agree that they pay over half of their income in taxes, yet they like it because their needs are taken care of from the cradle to the grave. This socialism is not forced upon them. They embrace it. Possibly, because they live in a cold harsh climate. Also, Linda, you wrote, “when I put money into an account (meaning government), that money belongs to me.” Well, not entirely. You cannot withdraw from it like a savings account. Also, it is government controlled, not private, therefore socialism. Sorry. On your question, “Who do you think pays the taxes in this country?” Percentage wise, Trump and his ilk pay a small percentage of their income in taxes compared to people like me. But you are right on one thing, the poor pay little or none. But you forgot to mention that basically the very rich are freeloaders. Yes, they do pay some, but very little in comparison to what they make.
As for guns they are here to stay. However, it is unfortunate that some of our citizens don’t use them appropriately. I used to go to breakfast with a conservative group. Most of them bragged about how fast they could produce a concealed weapon and gun somebody down. One even told me, “If you say something that may annoy me, I might just pull out my weapon and blow you away.” Unfortunately, when basically anyone is allowed to own a gun it does not eliminate the cowards, the bullies, the insane, and wife beaters.
For anyone who desires to challenge me about my wealth, I will show you the proof, for a fee, of course. I am a capitalist, not a socialist. Finally, I am truly thankful for those like Chuck D. and Dave Thomas, and all our ex-military personnel who dedicated their careers to protecting our country. Why shouldn’t I be? You allowed me to get rich. Also, Ms. Stevens, keep on fighting.
True socialist countries pay much more in taxes than US
Ms. Delamare, Thank you for your recent letter in the PV Times (June 4, 2021 ) in reply to Mr. Stevens’ earlier letter in which he seemed to attempt to explain the apparent advantages of “democratic socialism” (not “true” socialism). I did a little research, and this is what I learned about various countries that espouse the democratic socialist form of government.
Vermont is one of the bluest states in the nation, exemplified by our junior senator, who proudly characterizes himself as a “democratic socialist”.
I doubt that young people, or even Sen. Sanders, support” true socialism, with the government owning most of the key industries in the economy. Most of the world has moved away from that concept, and not just the countries that used to be behind the Iron Curtain. Over the last three decades, privatization, deregulation and market reforms have been the order of the day in Western Europe, Latin America and Asia, with a few exceptions.
Vermont’s Progressive Party, and many young people who claim to support socialism, most likely think of the “democratic socialism” of the Nordic countries. That is, a government that does not own the productive resources in an economy, but one that provides a strong safety net for the poor and generous social benefits for the middle class.
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and other northern European nations do provide more social and economic benefits to their citizens than the U.S. does. Free child care, paid parental leave for mothers and fathers, extended sick leave, generous unemployment benefits, shorter work hours and longer vacations , universal health care, free college tuition, higher retirement benefits than in the U.S., and the list goes on and on.
So just how do those countries pay for all those benefits?
Start with “Consumption Taxes.” Most European countries don’t levy sales taxes, but they do have National “Value Added Taxes” which are similar to sales taxes but are less transparent. In the Nordic countries they average a little over 20 percent, three times Vermont’s sales tax.
Denmark has a 100 percent tax on cars, which means a $30,000 Toyota Camry costs $60,000. Filling up the car is expensive, with Nordic gasoline taxes over $3.00 per gallon putting gas prices at $7-plus per gallon.
The most important source of funds to pay for these “free” benefits is by taxing everyone’s income – a lot. In the U.S., the average family faces about a 15 percent income tax rate while in the Nordic countries income taxes are twice that.
The highest U.S. income tax rate is about 40 percent, and you have to earn about eight times the average salary, or about $500,000 to pay that much while the income tax rates are 47 percent in Norway, 56 percent in Denmark, and 60 percent in Sweden, and those rates are for families earning about one and a half times the median family income. That means a family earning about $80,000 pays a tax rate higher than a U.S. family earning a half million dollars.
Essentially, income taxes are about half your income if you earn around an average income. Tax rates that high and paid by a lot of families bring in a lot of money.
Basically, everyone gets generous benefits, and everyone pays for them. The Nordic countries have learned that the Social Welfare State that we think of when we think of “democratic socialism” can only be funded by a growing, competitive economy because there just isn’t enough money in taxes to support those benefits by only taxing corporations, or the rich. Trying to squeeze that amount of taxes from those groups will inflict long-term damage to the economy.
Could the U.S. adopt the Nordic model? Perhaps, but it’s worth remembering that small, homogenous countries are different from large, heterogeneous ones like the U.S. The Nordic countries are small — Sweden has only 10 million people, and Norway and Denmark half that. And they are old societies where people have a lot more trust in each other and in the government than we do here in the U.S.
Politicians and others who envy the benefits people in those countries receive should remember that the benefits of democratic socialism have a cost, and that cost is borne by everyone, not just the rich.
And then I found this letter from (a)Mr. Frank Cullen: “I just returned from two weeks in the Scandinavian countries, which the democratic socialists (and my adult children) tout as the role model of how the United States should run things — the ‘free’ health care, free higher education, longer vacations, higher retirement, etc.
“In every country, I asked locals what they paid in taxes. Our German college student tour guide: 60 percent tax. Also, Germany had a 19 percent sales tax. Our taxi driver in Copenhagen: 60 percent, and also when he bought his taxi, he paid a sales tax of 180 percent of the car’s sale price. (That is not a misprint). In Stockholm, our bartender: 40 percent income tax with a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for what our bartender called the ‘low income workers.’
“When cornered, our democratic socialists never admit that taxes will have to go up for everyone to pay for their programs, not just on the rich. But they never say how much. Now that I’ve been there, I know how much. I hope my kids, and my bartender son-in-law, are ready for a cut in their lifestyle when they have to pay these taxes instead of the minimal taxes they pay now.
Frank Cullen, St. Simons Island”
So I ask you, Mr. Stevens: In what world does this “democratic socialism” form of government make sense or sound better than what we have now?
United States is both a democracy and a republic
I beg to differ with Ms. Delamare: our county IS a democracy! The United States is BOTH a democracy and a republic. You can say we are a republic, and you can say we are a democracy – both are correct. As a democracy we elect our government officials, and we vote on issues – that’s democracy. Perhaps you just do not like anything resembling “democrat” but prefer it if it sounds more “republican.” So, please do not lecture me on which one we are when you clearly stated, “The U.S. is not a democracy.” Wrong, totally wrong, again.
If you had further read my letter, you would have seen where I explained more about democratic socialism than you claimed I said. You seem to have overlooked me saying that “Democratic socialists also believe in a strong democracy and are against authoritarian government systems…” and “Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control our society either.” Does that help you understand the differences from socialism? Probably not since you insist on omitting or twisting my words – a typical tactic of Trumpers who are afraid of the truth and continue to believe the Big Lie.
Good for you that you get Social Security and Medicare because it is a “distribution” of the money you’ve paid into them. But that’s only part of the story and it is inaccurate. Your contributions to SS while you worked are NOT set aside just for you. That money is put into a big pot for many to draw from regardless of how much they put into the pot. Once your SS payments equal what you put in, your SS does not stop. In fact, The Urban Institute, a non-partisan research institute, and AARP both state that we get more back from Social Security than we paid in (unless we die early into your retirement). SS is NOT a distribution of YOUR payments into SS that is just for you. OMG I cannot believe I am having to point this out. I thought everyone knew this. Did you even know that at a certain income level in a year, SS stops being taken from peoples’ paycheck for the rest of that year? And those are the richer people out there, yet they will get to draw from SS for their entire life after 62/65. Please read up on how Social Security works as your explanation it completely wrong. This is a typical example of not doing the simple research and thus to avoid the truth.
You made a very, biased statement when you say the poor do not pay taxes. If they have a job, they pay taxes. And just because they have a job, they are not taken out of the “poor” category. Many poor people work but do not make a living wage. In fact, illegal immigrants pay taxes too. Research backed by the nonpartisan congressional Budget Office indicates that between 50% and 75% of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes. Illegal immigrants are estimated to pay about $7 billion per year into SS yet most are never able to collect SS payments. You could not be more uneducated to not know how SS works or the role of the poor and immigrants in funding our government. So, now I have answered your question on why the poor can benefit from tax cuts.
I am glad you were able to help out your sons – although it was the government who helped when they issued you a Covid check and the ones your sons also got. Government handouts is what they got and one that you clearly did not need – but you took it anyhow, didn’t you? Do not tell me or others that democratic socialism is not is helping people in this country. And, by the way, my daughter donated her check to a charity to help the less fortunate in this country – she didn’t need it either.
“Hard-headed conservatives” do NOT believe in “helping other who are hungry, unwell or otherwise in need.” If they did then why would the Republican Party, in 2017 (as one of many examples), submit a budget which included these cuts:
• $2 trillion from Medicaid
• $887 billion from discretionary funding, putting a broad array of programs serving low-income populations such as housing assistance, WIC, job training, and others at risk of deep funding cuts.
• $185 billion from federal college aid for low-income students
• $157 billion from the SNAP (food stamps) program
• $0.6 trillion from other programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child nutrition, Supplemental Security Income for the aged and disabled, Unemployment Insurance, refundable tax credits for low-income workers, and child care.
You have no clue what you are talking about and how to characterize the Republican party. There are more examples of cuts in programs for the poor, programs for veterans and other needy people but they would take several issues of the PVT to list them. Your, and many other Republicans’ ignorance of reality and the belief in the spoon-fed rhetoric of Faux news is destroying the values not only of this county but of the Republican Party. A party imploding before our eyes. To that I say “hurrah” as this party is not the Republican party you grew up with. It is the party of Trump: a scam artist, con man, liar, cheater, and quite frankly, a totally uneducated man – just like his followers. I will rejoice in the day he is hauled off to prison. And I will rejoice of the return of the GOP as it was.
I am tired of trying to get the truth out to people who could not care less about the truth and only want to hear what works for them (via Trump and Faux) – even if it is a lie. And, yes, Biden won fair and square. If you do not believe that then you do not believe in our Constitution and our democratic country – you believe in and have been brainwashed by the Cult of Trump.
Liberalism’s roots go back to founding of country
Anyone paying attention knows definitions of words, terms, and statements have changed at times and still do today. For example, the word liberal in its original meaning and still for the most part in Europe is not the same as it has been used in the U.S. from about the 1930s until today.
Up until about the turn of the 20th century most of our founding fathers were considered “liberal”, then people like Woodrow Wilson, Margret Sanger, and others adopted the word “progress” as a noun to identify themselves. Who could possibly be against progress?
The problem came when many of the progressive policies being enacted were rejected by most in the U.S., so about the 1930s, those with progressive ideas started calling themselves liberals and early on embraced many liberal ideas like the importance of freedom of speech, choice, and individual rights to some extent. Then for a while, an attempt was being made to label themselves as modern-day progressives, but that started fizzling when more people began learning about progressive policies on things like race.
So today we’ve moved into the “Woke” label and its parents’ theorists, race, gender, and etc. that are diametrically opposed to real liberalism. Where liberalism openly invites discussion, debate, individual thought, ideas, and rights, in the “woke” theoretical realm, no debate or opposition is allowed if even questioning ideas and beliefs of the woke, the perpetrator must be silenced and or destroyed. Even those who were at one time members or supporters of the chosen victims’ groups that do not tow the given line can be silenced or destroyed. And being a member of good standings in one of the preferred victim groups, with wealth, power, and fame gives you a leeway to say and do things that most others would find outrageous.
These attitudes may hopefully be only a temporary flash but much damage can be done while it’s active, particularly with state support, even on some level, and there is evidence of that. Joseph Goebbels said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it often enough people will eventually believe it. The lie can be maintained for only such time as the state can shield the people from political, economic, and military consequences of the lie. It becomes vitally important to suppress descent based on the truth, the mortal enemy of the lie and by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.”
The question is, are there more in power on the side of the lie or the truth?