Sunday, August 12, 2018

Why do Americans hate socialism?

Especially when many social programs help us? This evolutionary biologist says it's because we don't trust our system. Why don't we trust it?

"Much of the drop in trust (by more than 10 points) since the late 1970s can be attributed to the polarization in wealth and decline in social mobility. Economic inequality, as so many studies have shown, can dissolve solidarity, tear social fabric, destabilize society, and foster revolts and revolutions."

Social programs require tax dollars, and we need to trust that our tax system if fair. And it obviously is not, with corporations and the rich typically dodging taxes while the rest of us have to make up for it. The Nordic countries have high taxes but the citizens trust that those taxes will come back to them in social programs. They trust because those governments have come through on their promises. In the US the opposite it the case, with those in power always cutting helpful programs and giving it all to the top.

So how does the US regain trust in government?
A key factor is "fighting government corruption and reducing economic inequality." And that means fighting soft corruption: "Corruption that is lawful but unethical—including patronage, investment, lobbying, and campaign financing." Fighting this is very popular with Americans. Dump made a campaign slogan out of it: Drain the Swamp. But he and his Dumpsters are only filling it beyond capacity.

To make such corruption illegal is the challenge, because we need representatives with a proven history of doing so. Hence progressive representatives like Sanders, Warren and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and like-minded candidates running for all political offices in droves. Their platform results are the only way to regain our trust so we once again want to invest in society with our hard-earned tax dollars. And of course when everyone pays their fair share through a progressive tax system.

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