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Sanders Socialism vs. South Dakota Socialism: Common Good vs. Corporate Welfare

Bernie Sanders on corporate welfare
…or through South Dakota highway funds.

Bernie Sanders isn’t so far ahead of the socialist curve. South Dakota does socialism all the time. The difference between Bernie Sanders’s socialism and South Dakota’s socialism is that Sanders calls for Rooseveltian socialism on behalf of the masses:

[President Franklin Delano Roosevelt] saw one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

And he acted. Against the ferocious opposition of the ruling class of his day, people he called economic royalists, Roosevelt implemented a series of programs that put millions of people back to work, took them out of poverty and restored their faith in government. He redefined the relationship of the federal government to the people of our country. He combatted cynicism, fear and despair. He reinvigorated democracy. He transformed the country.

And that is what we have to do today [Senator Bernie Sanders, speech, transcript by Vox, 2015.11.19].

…while South Dakota practices socialism on behalf of corporations (which dare I compare to another world leader of the 1930s?):

The state Transportation Commission doubled the amount of highway aid available to local governments for economic development projects Friday.

Then the commission spent nearly all of it — though almost none of the projects approved Friday are in West River.

The panel approved $3.12 million for local-access work in 11 small communities, as well as $400,000 for a new ethanol plant to be built at Onida and $250,000 for a produce-delivery company opening at Dell Rapids.

…The commission didn’t take any action on a request for DOT to provide aid for township roads.

Dick Howard, a lobbyist for the South Dakota Association of Towns and Townships, asked the commission to consider providing $1 million annually [Bob Mercer, “State Raises Spending on Local Road Projects, But Not West River,” Rapid City Journal, 2015.11.23].

Your choice at the polls in 2016 won’t be evil socialism versus good manly, Godly capitalism. It will more likely be between socialism for all, everyone working for everyone’s benefit (something America’s young voters seem to get), versus socialism for the few, everyone working to enrich the elites.


  1. happy camper 2015-11-24 08:09

    Everyone working for everyone’s benefit sounds nice but just doesn’t work. People are greedy bastards. Let’s add lazy. They want the most from doing the least. Always have been, always will be. Not Cory and a minority of people that would give real socialism a chance, but it won’t work in large numbers especially the U.S. that still largely believes in individualism. And no doubt business incentives are just another form of income redistribution. I’ve taken advantage of some of them myself because they were there for taking. If there’s money laying on the ground you pick it up, but the marriage between business and government has been a disaster.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-11-24 08:34

    It will more likely be between socialism for all, everyone working for everyone’s benefit (something America’s young voters seem to get), versus socialism for the few, everyone working to enrich the elites

    “Uh,I’ll take socialism for the few for half a trillion,Alex,” snickered the koch bros.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-24 08:36

    We don’t have to go full-tilt Soviet-style state ownership of the means of production, Hap. As I understand it, even Sanders doesn’t support that. When Sanders points to FDR’s example, he means using the wealth that we collect through taxes to provide broad and direct assistance to all Americans rather than relying on corporate welfare and trickle-down voodoo economics. We can still believe in and promote individualism, but we can also maintain government programs that are ready to step in and support individuals when hard times hit, when things fall apart, and when powerful greedy bastards threaten to hoard all the wealth for themselves to the detriment of liberty and society as a whole.

  4. happy camper 2015-11-24 08:49

    I’m sorry but I think you’re mainly wrong for two reasons. People are constantly doing a cost-benefit analysis especially the older you get. Should I get off this couch and do that? Is it worth it? If I can sit on my tush, not really contribute but be taken care of, then I won’t. That’s number one. Secondly the Soviets experienced a dictatorship, not communism. Where there’s a concentration of power a hierarchy will form, legitimate or not. That’s why too much power in the hands of government won’t work.

    True, nothing is entirely black or white. I thought it was to the betterment of everyone to have national health care like education or car insurance and I’ll stick with that notion for now.

    But, the more you accept how lazy and greedy people are, the more the world makes sense. I can’t emphasize that enough.

  5. Lanny V Stricherz 2015-11-24 09:19

    We have had socialism in this country for a good long time. The two prime examples of the past thirty years are. The S&L bailout of a 1/4 trillion dollars in the 1980s and the bailout of the banks, financial institutions and auto industry in the first decade of this century, and with the banks it is continuing to this day with the artificial holding down of the interest rate. We capitalize profits and socialize losses.

    But there are so many more examples, in fact, so many that they are too numerous to mention. The subsidies to the oil companies is the first to come to mind. The fact that around the turn of the century, Jack Walsh’s General Electric was the most largely capitalized company on the planet according to Wall Street, but even though many years they pay in no taxes, they get money back from Uncle. These are just two that come to mind. I am sure that if one were to look through the companies in the military industrial complex, he or she would be able to find even more examples that would boggle the mind, since that is where the largest share of government spending goes.

    But even more egregious is the way that the military was privatized, by hiring contractors to do the work that was formerly done by the troops, and then turning around and paying those contractors who do the work two, three and four times what the troops were/are paid to do the job, and that says nothing about the pay that the executives, often former congresspersons, are paid as their bosses. But that ain’t socialism, cause it was privatized. Yeah right.

  6. jerry 2015-11-24 09:22

    Teddy Roosevelt busted up the trusts when they refused to deal with the coal miners. He knew that the blood on the streets would be thick if people were cold and hungry. Social programs keep the people believing in a better tomorrow, without that, we have revolution.

  7. happy camper 2015-11-24 10:06

    People need to believe in themselves. I very much appreciate Cory does not believe in the fairy tale of god, but Liberals (including Cory I think) want to delude themselves that people don’t act out of self-interest. Most do 100% of the time.

    Some things have to be governmental and should not be privatized.

    Welfare programs keep people down by enabling a way of living not based on self reliance and interdependence.

  8. jerry 2015-11-24 10:19

    Welfare programs are not easy to access. When your heart gives out or you have that accident that damages your melon, who is gonna help you if not for social programs? Your church? Fat chance. Your family, to a point, but then you are on your own. Believe in yourself while you look at your empty cupboards, if you are lucky. You will find yourself looking for a place to stay under the bridge with all of the rest who have fallen between the cracks. Sober up dude and look around.

  9. happy camper 2015-11-24 10:32

    Ha. Social work is a business not so different from police departments. A friend works at a privatized organization and he is constantly asked to bring in more people so they can write more grants and get more money. The police departments don’t want to give up the lucrative war on drugs. These are people’s jobs. They don’t want them to end.

    Of course some things need to be in place. A working national health care program for one.

    Cory, a new BCBS plan for a 51 year old is $670 a month. I need that plan for traveling. Blame it on medigap and criminal Republican governors willing to let people die, but the ACA is not working in our state.

  10. Lanny V Stricherz 2015-11-24 10:41

    happy camper, the ACA is not working because it is the answer to our healthcare mess, designed by Romney. To ever have true healthcare reform, we needed to have the highly socialistic Universal Single Payer healthcare that the entire rest of the industrialized world has and loves.

  11. happy camper 2015-11-24 10:53

    The ACA is working well in some states. Not good news United Health wants out of the exchange market, but our country’s car insurance market seems to work ok. I don’t know if it’s as simple as those in the Medicaid gap getting affordable coverage on the exchange and then dropping it after getting services, but something is totally not working in South Dakota and is worthy of attention. You may have noticed Avera is buying Dakotacare. BCBS is not on the exchange probably unwilling to expose themselves to the high risk.

  12. happy camper 2015-11-24 11:06

    Cory, I would have an $8,000 a year insurance policy for one person if I weren’t grandfathered in with my old plan of $450 now ($5,400) which was $330 a month. You socialists Obamacare ain’t workin!!! :)

  13. Lanny V Stricherz 2015-11-24 11:14

    car insurance working because the law says that you have to have insurance to drive, but even then, people drive without insurance and then the insurance companies socialize the risk caused by the accidents of those without insurance. That is why I no longer drive. I went 50 years without an accident that was my fault and only two that were the other person’s fault, one twenty five years ago and the other a rear end by a guy who was texting on the interstate in Minneapolis, five years ago. But my insurance rates went up 4 renewal dates in a row, so I said enough is enough. You force me to do it Happy Camper, so I will now post another post of socialism that is not working except for folks, who the more they have the more they get.

  14. Lanny V Stricherz 2015-11-24 11:15

    While I can support some added sales taxes, for instance on advertising, an increase to new automobile sales tax, I like you cannot support an increase in the sales tax. I do however feel that we need to be focusing our efforts in another area as far as raising money to pay for the shortfall in education funding and the counties shortfall in financing their responsibilities.

    First, to the education, we need to focus on the legislature putting the money that was promised for the tobacco settlement and the increased tobacco sales tax, as well as the money raised through video lottery and Deadwood gambling, back into funding education, period and therefore, its removal from the general fund.

    Secondly, we need to remove the freeze from property tax that was placed on several years ago. South Dakota with its 77,117 square miles, has over 49 million acres. If only a third of that is taxpaying, at $5 an acre, there would be in the vicinity of 80 million dollars raised. But of course within the cities and towns the raise would be considerably more than 5 dollars per acre as a city block runs between 2 and 3 acres.

    We have to be cognizant of the fact that most of the poor are renters and there is not freeze on the rental property, so the landlord passes his or her increased taxes onto the renter every year, whereas the homeowner essentially sits with the same payment year after year and is building equity and getting an income tax break while the renter gets neither equity or an income tax break.

  15. Lanny V Stricherz 2015-11-24 11:24

    That was an answer that I made to someone by email. The property tax freeze has socialized the costs of education and county government onto those with less from those with more because since that freeze, the sales tax on food has been raised and now folks are adding another penny sales tax, but leaving the property which has increased in value stay at the same levy. For instance the city of Sioux Falls, which wants to give the county nothing to help the increased incarceration costs of the County jail and the increased costs of caring for the homeless and other welfare costs, because of the increases in sales tax has been able to put itself more hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to build an events center that the poor cannot afford to use and a new indoor aquatic center, that so far the city is unwilling to say if the poor will be able to use for little or no fee. And that is just two examples.

  16. happy camper 2015-11-24 11:26

    Not quite. Cities are working around the property tax freeze by calling it something else. Passing local laws that allow them to collect dollars based on linear feet for the steets or however they choose to calculate it. I’ve forgotten what they call this work around, but they are definitely collecting more money there and from greatly increased utility bills. The rates but also base fees.

  17. Lanny V Stricherz 2015-11-24 11:55

    One other thing Happy, you and I both have to stop our whining, because we still have it better than 90% of the people on the planet and have a lot to be thankful for.

  18. jerry 2015-11-24 12:12

    The biggest job killer in America is the health insurance industry. It stifles business and is the driving force behind Pfizer acquisition of a competitor for 160 Billion dollars. That is 16 with so many zero’s after it that can cause carpal tunnel for which you will need something to take care it.

    Saunders is correct in his outlook on universal health coverage or Medicare for all. The medical community knows that this will save money and get the greed of Mike Rounds off their back

    The business community knows this will save money and get the greed of Mike Rounds off their arse’s as well.

  19. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-11-24 13:24

    Ouch! That struck pretty close to the mark! I would argue, though.. that the moderate “Republican” mixing of government in private business is more akin to the Italian Socialism (Fascism?) that we saw under Mussolini.

    None of the corruption we have witnessed in SD would be occurring under actual limited-government, conservative, free-market supporting Republicans.

    Cory makes a good point though, the Daugaards, Rounds, and Thune type “Republicans” are wolves in conservative elephant clothing.

  20. leslie 2015-11-24 16:28

    lazy, greedy (8:09), welfare, self reliant, interdependant 10:06 (didju mean independant?)

    it is difficult to listen to your erroneous generalizations and values, hc. (I realize my own sloppiness here at times may lend to the same critique)

  21. happy camper 2015-11-24 16:45

    Well, there are a lot of emotionally charged words, like Republican. Today’s Republican party is not that of yesteryear. But remember, Cory used to be a Republican, so imagine if you met him a few years ago when he hung that label on himself. Would you have disliked him terribly for that one reason alone? As so many are quick to judge? Was he a completely different person, or even all that different? Same as it ever was?

  22. happy camper 2015-11-24 16:52

    Economic Interdependence: A relationship between two or more people, regions, nations or other entities in which each is dependent on the other for necessary goods or services. Economic interdependence often occurs when all parties are specialized in the fulfillment of some requirements, and must trade with others for unmet requirements.

    The notion of interdependence originates back to Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, where he suggests that ‘a general plenty’ may diffuse through all ranks of society through means of specialisation and the division of labour.

  23. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 16:53

    We talked about this at the geezer’s breakfast this morning. America isn’t ready for a Jewish president and all of us are still furious that Al Gore chose DINO Joe Lieberman as his running mate in 2000.

    South Dakota is doomed to making the same mistakes over and over because insanity is the Republican Way.

    Bake a man a pie and he’ll learn to divide by seven. Teach a man piety and he’ll crucify the apples then say they died for his sins.

  24. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 16:57

    My sincerest hope for 2016 is that Donald Trump will be jilted by the earth hater party and run as an unaffiliated candidate.

  25. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:00

    We need Bernie Sanders in the Senate and with some luck Elizabeth Warren will be elected Majority Leader after the general election.

    I like Julian Castro as Secretary Clinton’s pick for Veep.

  26. jerry 2015-11-24 17:06

    Speaking of emotionally charged words from republicans, look at what the republican party has trotted out yet again as their representation, Donald Trump. The republican party, such as it is, owns this lying turd root and branch. If you don’t want to be a republican anymore, you can always join the Democratic party to help change it for the better. If you so desire, you can also reject the republican party and go independent. The trick is to vote. That means to reject those in your party that are so treasonous. Yep, I said that word and I mean it. What they are provoking is sedition at its worse with racism at its core. Ben Carson is only in it for the money and they know it and are counting on his dumb ass to stay in to fool those who can be easily fooled, you know, the republican base.

  27. happy camper 2015-11-24 17:21

    Cory let me ride his bike. He ain’t all bad. For a Libbie!!!

  28. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:28

    it’s good that cory can afford campy super record.

  29. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:30

    Fascinating. Hap is a Future Fund recipient, too.


  30. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:34

    Hey, MorkHap: talk about IDQ and its fascist tendencies.

  31. mike from iowa 2015-11-24 17:37

    HRC is part Jewish.

  32. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:39

    DeLon: are you a short guy like Cory is?

  33. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:40

    Cory rides a 22″ frame, right?

  34. jerry 2015-11-24 17:42

    Oh boy, another future fundy. Of course they would defend their dear leader.

  35. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:52

    Hap? Spill, little dood.

  36. larry kurtz 2015-11-24 17:55

    you mucked up, mork. pay to pay is hard work, ain’t it?

  37. happy camper 2015-11-24 19:15

    Oh my goodness. Lynn is right in this circumstance: Larry, put down the pipe. Cory speak some reason to these peeps.

  38. happy camper 2015-11-24 20:37

    Oh please: Mrs. Clinton, who is Methodist, “has very fond childhood memories” of the second husband of her grandmother.

    They believe in god as much as the man in the moon. Fairy tales for children are a mistake.

  39. Lanny V Stricherz 2015-11-24 20:39

    Makes no difference, they are all zionists. Why do you think every Senate vote on matters that concern Israel are 100-0 and only take 10 minutes, when on other issues such as in which direction does the sun come up, takes weeks, months and even years. Why else would they kiss up to Bibi with such and ugly kisser?

  40. happy camper 2015-11-24 20:41

    Heavenly father save us all. Go cuddle up with your blanket.

  41. jerry 2015-11-24 20:43

    Lanny is correct, it makes no difference at all. Those guys all vote with a blank check for Bibi whenever he wants it. Doesn’t matter what religion they are, they all vote that way.

  42. happy camper 2015-11-24 20:45

    Christians think they are closely related to Jews. Grow up little boys and girls. It’s made up man made bullshit to help you sleep at night. Ask Jerry for a welfare blanket he so eagerly wants you to have at our expense.

  43. jerry 2015-11-24 20:49

    I missed this gem earlier about Mork and his payments to Wellmark and then bitching about the ACA. The ACA was designed for working people that make at least 11,700 bucks a year, with the most you can make to get a ACA subsidy as a single $47,080.00. When you make that much as a single, there is not much of a subsidy.

    So Mork does not qualify for the ACA Marketplace plans because he is higher income and therefore able to afford his premium that Wellmark has assessed him. The crocodile tears he sheds should not be taken seriously as Larry points out with his most generous donation to his dear leader.

  44. happy camper 2015-11-24 21:00

    Oh goodness once again. Happy Camper is not Delon Mork and I am being snarky only to make a point. There is no god and many of our current problems are being made in “his” name. Kill the infidels.

  45. happy camper 2015-11-24 21:07

    I mean grow up. Look at what we’ve had to put up with in the name of religion and believers.

  46. jerry 2015-11-24 21:07

    It does not matter if you are Mindy, the fact is that you have an old Wellmark plan that is pre-ACA that has gone up regardless of what ACA plans are doing. That is why there is the Affordable Healthcare so that those that are in the lower income brackets can afford to take care of themselves by going to the doctor. Not rocket science on the need. Also, the ACA has changed the way Medicare itself works and in particular the prescription drug part. If the republican congress would actually be Americans, they could fix the pharmaceutical companies in a heartbeat to allow them to compete for your dollars. One thing I have notices, republicans hate competition, they blather about it all the time, but that is show, they want to monopolize the markets.

  47. happy camper 2015-11-24 21:21

    With cooperation the ACA could work. The new Republicans want to kill it at all cost. That’s criminal.

  48. jerry 2015-11-24 21:45

    When President Bush put the mandated purchase of Medicare Part D into play, it was Democrats who rescued it from the hell that always happens when something new is introduced. This was not their plan, but they worked through the problems like a team, as if it were their own. Everyone of these so called lawmakers should pause and think of who they are representing. Are they in it for the companies that reek huge fortunes in how it works or are they for the people who need this product to protect their health. This ACA is not perfect by any means, it is the way forward though to finally provide insurance for all.

  49. Bree S. 2015-11-24 21:59

    It’s very palatable kind of socialism, really, is Sander’s Socialism.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-25 10:44

    Hap, as you note, I’m not Christian, but I buy fully into the Christian principle of humanity as a fallible species. We are selfish creatures, prone to error. But a local businessman once said to me, “I support socialism because it’s in my self-interest.” I’m with that businessman: it’s in my self-interest to have schools, roads, police, fire departments, parks, and other public goods paid for and owned by everyone. My opportunities would be much poorer if my parents had had to provide all of my education by their own direct efforts, if they had had to pave and plow our own road all the way to town, and if we had had to stand watch over our own property every night with guns and booby traps to protect ourselves from crime.

    Selfishness motivated the creation of social structures. Amidst barbarism, only Conan and other tyrants get to crush their enemies and hear the lamentations of their women. For most of us weaklings, fending for ourselves in the state of nature sucks. Our forebears realized that if we came to agreements with our neighbors, surrendered some of our freedom through taxes and submission to community rules, we would all live better lives, with more food, more loot we could keep as legal property, and more time to read books and engage in other pleasures without fear of rampaging hordes or general pestilence scaling the wall and ruining our day.

  51. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-25 10:45

    Disgusted, dang it, when are you going to get me some “real” Republicans who can run for office and help me make that argument about SDGOP corporate Mussolini-ism?

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