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South Dakota Takes Wing on Socialism

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's....
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s….

Thanks to socialism, South Dakota is getting $20 million from Uncle Sam for airport projects. Among our lucky comrades is the already much-subsidized Watertown airport, which is getting $9 million for a new terminal building and site utilities. They are banking on more federal subsidies to update the parking lot, apron, and taxiway.

The other Airport Improvement Grants go to Sioux Falls ($9.7 million) and Rapid City ($2 million).

Chamberlain is angling for $8.2 million from Uncle Sam to extend its aging runway to accommodate jets… because one of the central goals of socialism is to pay for private jet owners to fly to South Dakota to shoot pheasants.

So remember, the next time you descend from the heavens back to terra South Dacognita, that smooth landing is brought to you by socialism.


  1. mike from iowa 2019-11-24 13:04

    So where is cardboard Mike when the socialist gravy train pulls into fiscally conservative in name only station?

  2. BRIAN GOCHAL 2019-11-24 13:27

    Socialism ok for rich folks. Just not basic needs.

  3. leslie 2019-11-24 15:29

    So what is Putin these days?: socialist, communist, criminal capitalist, autocrat, authoritarian, dictator as world’s wealthiest individual and chief propagandist :)!!??

    “…you have a godfather who does favors for his underlings,” he added. “In return, at some point in the future, his underlings return the favor… it makes more sense to think about it [Putin’s shielded wealth] like that. ***Putin is cruising toward yet another election victory on Sunday [March 2018]. Over the next six-year term, his own personal wealth and that of his inner circle are likely to grow.” CNN

    Dale, Jason, Anne, Pearson, Happy-think more Russian trolls/bots will descend on you here, now? Grand GOP, eh?

  4. Debbo 2019-11-24 20:12

    If women who receive Aid to Dependent Children are “welfare queens,” farmers who receive Economic Oaf’s bribes must be “welfare kings.” What does that make wealthy welfare recipients?

  5. jerry 2019-11-25 00:20

    Ms. Debbo, got the answer…Republican farmers!! Booyah!! Them boys have struck a rich vein of gold with Chubby.

  6. John Dale 2019-11-26 08:17

    You’ve been hanging out in Aberdeen too long. :)

    I spent one Christmas there as a kid. It was magical. My stepfather’s grandparents were immigrants from Germany, and that’s what inspired me to learn German so many years later. I played with army men in the basement and chowed delicious food all Christmas long and wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

    While I was too young to understand the perils of socialism at the time, I am not now.

    Socialism is being forced upon the country’s majority by a crafty political strategy (it’s not even a movement) force multiplied by fiat currency and information systems. It is an advantage that likely will not last.

    Lastly, bullocks. Our federal government’s facilitation of interstate and international commerce is not socialism. At least, it’s not the type of socialism that I studied doing my B.A. in Philosophy at The University of Arizona.

    That said, socialism seems to be creeping into the integrated municipal level, where deep state bureaucrats have created a contractual management dashboard to your local police (egads) and other services.

    In Spearfish and in Sturgis, we have over-participation in the development of property; what can be built and who can live there.

    In Sturgis, you’ll recall that SMRI unsuccessfully tried to inject socialism in the free market for Sturgis Rally branded merch.

    Glad we staved off that greedy socialist corporate beast.

    Socialism is bringing us stuff, yes, but it is against the will of the majority of people, the goods – like all products stolen and reproduced by socialism – are not dynamic and are inferior in quality.

    Pretty soon, we’ll be saying, “wow, look at all the free market in this socialist system .. it’s not a socialist system at all”.

    And like sand through the hourglass ..

    I consider this post to be a pretty standard socialist cheap shot that disregards the nuance of our society.

    But that’s just my opinion (soon to be taken away by a socialist system near you).

  7. bearcreekbat 2019-11-26 14:27

    While the concept of “socialism” has taken on a different meaning in contemporary jargon, anyone who has actually studied philosophy, and the political philosophy of socialism in particular, knows that “socialism” refers to government ownership and administration of the means of production.

    A socialist economy features social rather than private ownership of the means of production. It also typically organizes economic activity through planning rather than market forces, and gears production towards needs satisfaction rather than profit accumulation. Socialist ideology asserts the moral and economic superiority of an economy with these features, especially as compared with capitalism. . . .

    The idea that “Socialism is being forced upon the country,” as defined in philosophy and classical economics has no real support in fact since, for the most part, the means of production in the USA and SD, as well as other individual states, remain privately owned, whether by individuals, partnerships, corporations or a wide variety of other private business models.

    Thus, when considering the comments of self-defined experts with an agenda or lay persons who purport to describe our country’s supposed devolution into “socialism,” one should understand that they are not referencing any classical or philosophical meaning of the term. Rather, they are sharing either the results of their imaginations or of too much exposure to misleading propaganda that has attempted to change the term from a neutral economic term into some sort of boogie man to frighten people susceptible to such tripe into supporting particular political goals.

    Incidentially, to the best of my recollection South Dakota’s experience with actual “socialism” occurred during the years the State owned the Cement Plant in Rapid City. That ownership was positive for the State as it generated revenue, provided jobs, and assured some quality control over the materials produced and sold.

    This “socialist” endeavor even ended on the positive note by generating a substantial capital return to the State from the sale to Mexican interests. It sold for $252 million dollars with the funds earmarked for the South Dakota Investment Council. Oh, how horrible to some minds!

  8. Debbo 2019-11-26 14:32

    BCB wins this post!

    “they are sharing either the results of their imaginations or of too much exposure to misleading propaganda that has attempted to change the term from a neutral economic term into some sort of boogie man to frighten people susceptible to to such tripe into supporting particular political goals.”

  9. John Dale 2019-11-26 14:38

    Some postulates with good historical evidence:

    The means of production belonging to state entities arrests innovation.

    Large corporations usurp government power, become de facto governments, monopolizing the means of production through market forces (the desired end state of capitalism and arguably free markets is monopoly, interestingly enough, which is why a “reset button” is needed as in our situation, now – the reset button could be provided through an innovation in the process of capitalization, but the banks would have to act against their self interest of preserving the monopoly).

    Thinking in the abstract, the principles of socialism can pertain to corporations that have achieved government like control over the society .. this is exactly the case with the Silicon Valley Sultans.

    If avoidance of socialism is the goal, we have to be careful to identify its manifestation in various forms, which means thinking beyond conventional implementations, but understanding its core principles and arming our children with the knowledge to subvert and resist the urge to capitalize market control, but dominate markets through product innovation.

    Great, Debbo is the referee of who wins posts. Better check the air pressure in the political football.

  10. bearcreekbat 2019-11-26 16:14

    In my earlier comment I suggested that neither our state or federal government in general sought control of the means of production. While true in the manufacture of “products,” I note that government does own and control the means of providing numerous “services” to the public, which technically constitutes a variation of socialism. has a pretty informative explanation and list of this socialist part of our federal and state governments, which includes:

    Guaranteed public education

    Public transportation

    Fire departments

    Police departments

    Public libraries

    Every branch of the US military

    Roads & highways

    Social Security


    Public, not private prisons & jails

    Public hospitals

    The Veterans Affairs Administration

    Public universities

    Public parks

    Public toilets

    Public drinking fountains

    Public parking

    Public everything.

    If so-called anti-socialists object to such public ownership they certainly tend to hide these objections, probably realizing how little support such objections would have since without public ownership such services would be limited to those who could pay for things like the military, police protection, schools and the like.

    Instead, purveyors of anti-socialism propaganda try to push some imaginary evil concept they reference as “socialism” and then call virtually everything they object to or complain about as socialist. This is evident when we hear “socialist” complaints about private “large corporations” that, in fact, have gained incredible power due to a capitalist, rather than socialist, economic structure.

    As to actual “socialism” it is interesting how these experts can attack it generally despite many, if not most, of our own US and state concrete examples of the benefits of public control, such as the SD Cement Plant, and the many functions listed by Indeed, we typically see no specific references from naysayers identifying any evidence in the US supporting claims of the alleged dangers of public ownership of the means of production, i.e. “socialism.”

    Incidentally, when it comes to stating actual facts there can be no winners or losers since facts are simply objectively verifiable. If someone manages to convincingly spread false propaganda, he has not “won” any reality contest since reality doesn’t change with false descriptions even if the lies succeed in misleading perceptions of reality. Likewise correctly describing objective reality is no victory since reality remains unchanged.

  11. Debbo 2019-11-26 16:21

    BCB owns reality on DFP!

    Just having fun, my friend. 😁

  12. John Dale 2019-11-26 17:11

    “object to such public ownership they certainly tend to hide these objections”

    “Go make your own police department” is not an option.

    The structure of municipal law bakes-in some aspects of socialism.

    In reality, we should not pursue any “pure” system .. this is my opinion that there will be a blend of approaches that provides the best possible solution .. but I think it’ll be skewed toward free markets when optimized.

    Eventually the “go make your own x” argument regresses to the point of impracticality .. eventually, the argument devolves to “go make your own planet”.

    We need more compromise than that .. but first, we need civic engagement (better diet, higher IQ) and perhaps the abolishment of the secret society form of government.

    Someone made the point earlier that cannabis can lower iq (it was in a referred document). Meanwhile, back at the ranch, fluoride lowers IQ of baby boys in utero. Raise IQ’s, increase civic engagement, abolish secret society. This seems like a good strategy to truly improve things.

    Admittedly, labeling with the “isms” is not the best way to go about structuring the economy. Doing things that are well reasoned and fair/moral is what I prefer.

  13. Porter Lansing 2019-11-26 17:28

    Hear, hear BCB. Superb analysis.

  14. o 2019-11-26 21:03

    John, in the discussion of socialism, I do want to insert that the other choice in the US is not free-market capitalism; it is an unchecked devolution into monopoly and THAT is what truly stifles innovation.

  15. John Dale 2019-11-26 22:09

    o – point taken.

    The reset button is needed, since the natural and desired end-state of a Capitalist “free market” system is very socialism like.

    A couple of economic features are needed to get anything close to a perfect free market; something to reset if monopolies are achieved, and secure communications to prevent IP theft.

    The second of these two concerns me greatly. IP theft of rogue monopoly corporations rigs the game.

    Monopoly power can be checked with protected information/communications wherein new competitive ideas can be developed by the competition in secret.

    Monopolies are used extensively to achieve information asymmetry through the purchase of information system power and law enforcement interfaces.

  16. Donald Pay 2019-11-26 22:09

    The cement plant was a socialist enterprise, but it lacked a key element: social or worker control of the means of production. It was more state socialism, like the Soviet Union, rather than what Marx envisioned.

    I’m not sure of all the history of the plant, but free enterprise had failed to provide a source of cement at a price that would allow South Dakota to join the modern age. Thus, it was like a lot of stuff in early South Dakota. When business fails, the people provide it for themselves, and to do that they used the state government to do it.

    The cement plant operated like any other cement plant, though primary goal of providing cement at a reasonable price for use in South Dakota construction, not profit. The plant also provided cement to the regional market. Profits were not a major goal at first, though they became more important later on. The profits helped provide money for the state budget.

    The board of directors, who were mostly from business, were appointed by the Governor. They became increasingly hostile to the work force, and that led to unionization. I knew a number of people who worked in the plant, and they said it was no workers’ paradise.

    It was also not a good neighbor, spewing lots of ash and dust that fell out in a white dust over the city. To be fair to the cement plant, housing was built around the plant after it had been operating. But they resisted pollution controls and got away with killing people with respiratory conditions. And the state did precious little to get the pollution issues under control. That, to me, is a big problem with socialism. We talk a lot about regulatory capture by big business, but it is far, far worse when one state agency has to regulate another state agency.

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