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sho nuff

How socialist are we as a nation already?

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And can the current progressives (and honestly most of the candidates will be labled socialist in some form or fashion) overcome the stigma of “socialism” to reach the oval office?

 

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1 minute ago, joffer said:

21.6%

I would have set the over/under at 23.675%

Edited by sho nuff
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50 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

And can the current progressives (and honestly most of the candidates will be labled socialist in some form or fashion) overcome the stigma of “socialism” to reach the oval office?

 

As younger people become a growing part of the electorate time will take care of stigma. They are already the majority although some people, Biden, dont seem to get that as they dismiss them and pretend they don't count.

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I just find it interesting as so much of what our government does is already some form of socialism.

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The smart ### replies are hilarious.. but this is actually a fascinating thing to discuss with conservatives who are hardcore against "socialism".  There is a disconnect here.

 

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Not enough.  I have a wife and 2 kids and only make 70K as a family a year so I am for socialism and any type of government assistance we can get.

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Depends on how you define socialism. I look at it as any government program where taxes are spent on the greater good as socialism and I'm cool with that. The military is socialism. Infrastructure is socialism. Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security is socialism. Our public education system is socialism. IMO a blend of socialism in areas like these with a regulated capitalism that breaks up monopolies that are too big to fail leads to a healthy economy and society.

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12 minutes ago, cap'n grunge said:

Depends on how you define socialism. I look at it as any government program where taxes are spent on the greater good as socialism and I'm cool with that. The military is socialism. Infrastructure is socialism. Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security is socialism. Our public education system is socialism. IMO a blend of socialism in areas like these with a regulated capitalism that breaks up monopolies that are too big to fail leads to a healthy economy and society.

:goodposting:

The Mayflower Compact was “socialist” for heck’s sake.

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We're giving $38 Billion in aid to Israel. Guess what, they have government funded healthcare. We give them $ and THEIR citizens have their healthcare paid for. But we can't afford it for our own citizens.

We have crappy TrumpCare.

Edited by Amused to Death

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7.5 / 10 if you are a corporation 

4.75 / 10 if you are a human being 

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3 hours ago, Amused to Death said:

We're giving $38 Billion in aid to Israel. Guess what, they have government funded healthcare. We give them $ and THEIR citizens have their healthcare paid for. But we can't afford it for our own citizens.

We have crappy TrumpCare.

We are not giving Israel $38 billion.   More like $3 billion.  What sites do you read?   

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10 hours ago, NCCommish said:

As younger people become a growing part of the electorate time will take care of stigma. They are already the majority although some people, Biden, dont seem to get that as they dismiss them and pretend they don't count.

The problem is eventually young people must work to make a living.   And once they start working and acheiving, they like to keep what they earn.  And eventually those ideas of just spreading the wealth around fades. 

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8 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

The problem is eventually young people must work to make a living.   And once they start working and acheiving, they like to keep what they earn.  And eventually those ideas of just spreading the wealth around fades. 

I’m 48. Beyond my youthful years. I disagree with your premise.  I’m pretty well off and I’d be happy to give up more for other people’s needs who aren’t so fortunate.

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7 hours ago, Summer Wheat said:

Not enough.  I have a wife and 2 kids and only make 70K as a family a year so I am for socialism and any type of government assistance we can get.

Wherever socialism has been tried in the past (in the USSR, Poland, East Germany, Cuba, etc.) it has resulted in everybody making way more than $70K a year.

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7 hours ago, cap'n grunge said:

Depends on how you define socialism. I look at it as any government program where taxes are spent on the greater good as socialism and I'm cool with that. The military is socialism. Infrastructure is socialism. Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security is socialism. Our public education system is socialism. IMO a blend of socialism in areas like these with a regulated capitalism that breaks up monopolies that are too big to fail leads to a healthy economy and society.

When people use the term "socialism" they pretty much always mean one of two things.  One meaning -- and I think is by far the most common -- is to describe a society that has a robust and expansive welfare state as opposed to a minimalist safety net.  Folks who use the term that way typically have Nordic countries in mind.  The other meaning, which is more academic, reserves the term "socialism" to refer to state ownership of the means of production.  It's worth noting that Nordic counties aren't actually socialist by that second definition, which is good to keep in mind as a reminder that these really are two completely different definitions of the same word, and we need to be careful not to slide back and forth between them by accident.

It so happens that the US is not very socialist by either definition.  Our welfare state is pretty minimal relative to most countries, and the government doesn't produce very many goods and services.  But in principle we could nationalize a bunch of industries while keeping our social services programs the way they are, or we could expand our social welfare programs while still relying almost entirely on private enterprise to produce stuff.  Those are almost completely unrelated issues.

We (as a society) can always choose to define words however we want.  If we define "socialism" in the way you propose, that's completely fine, but then we need to come up with different terms to describe the stuff that people lump under the "socialism" umbrella today.  Nobody currently considers the military or highway construction to be socialism.  

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7 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

When people use the term "socialism" they pretty much always mean one of two things.  One meaning -- and I think is by far the most common -- is to describe a society that has a robust and expansive welfare state as opposed to a minimalist safety net.  Folks who use the term that way typically have Nordic countries in mind.  The other meaning, which is more academic, reserves the term "socialism" to refer to state ownership of the means of production.  It's worth noting that Nordic counties aren't actually socialist by that second definition, which is good to keep in mind as a reminder that these really are two completely different definitions of the same word, and we need to be careful not to slide back and forth between them by accident.

It so happens that the US is not very socialist by either definition.  Our welfare state is pretty minimal relative to most countries, and the government doesn't produce very many goods and services.  But in principle we could nationalize a bunch of industries while keeping our social services programs the way they are, or we could expand our social welfare programs while still relying almost entirely on private enterprise to produce stuff.  Those are almost completely unrelated issues.

We (as a society) can always choose to define words however we want.  If we define "socialism" in the way you propose, that's completely fine, but then we need to come up with different terms to describe the stuff that people lump under the "socialism" umbrella today.  Nobody currently considers the military or highway construction to be socialism.  

People don't consider police, fire departments, or public schooling socialism either.  That's because they don't think about them in those terms.  It becomes a problem with definitions when they are forced to think about all those things provided by the government that they appreciate having.

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I know it's boring and pedantic to start off a conversation with "Let's define our terms, gentlemen."  But I get the impression from many of the posts so far in this thread that people are defining socialism as anything that is not pure anarcho-capitalism.  I say that because literally nobody besides anarcho-capitalists has any problem with a government-run military, public libraries, public roads, and some of the other examples that folks are tossing out there.

If we want to have a thread about how closely the US resembles Murray Rothbard's ideal society, I guess we could do so.  But then we need a different thread title.

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1 minute ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I know it's boring and pedantic to start off a conversation with "Let's define our terms, gentlemen."  But I get the impression from many of the posts so far in this thread that people are defining socialism as anything that is not pure anarcho-capitalism.  I say that because literally nobody besides anarcho-capitalists has any problem with a government-run military, public libraries, public roads, and some of the other examples that folks are tossing out there.

If we want to have a thread about how closely the US resembles Murray Rothbard's ideal society, I guess we could do so.  But then we need a different thread title.

Well people are saying government funded healthcare is socialism. Do you think the term is being applied correctly?

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Just now, Amused to Death said:

Well people are saying government funded healthcare is socialism. Do you think the term is being applied correctly?

It depends.  If you use the term "socialism" to refer to any kind of government spending, then obviously government-funded healthcare would qualify.  If you reserve that term for direct production by the state, then Obamacare definitely doesn't qualify, but some alternative healthcare systems might.  That's why it's a good idea to start off by being clear and transparent about what we're talking about when we use that word.

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3 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I know it's boring and pedantic to start off a conversation with "Let's define our terms, gentlemen."  But I get the impression from many of the posts so far in this thread that people are defining socialism as anything that is not pure anarcho-capitalism.  I say that because literally nobody besides anarcho-capitalists has any problem with a government-run military, public libraries, public roads, and some of the other examples that folks are tossing out there.

If we want to have a thread about how closely the US resembles Murray Rothbard's ideal society, I guess we could do so.  But then we need a different thread title.

Actually, I am using the context "anti-socialist" people use all the time.  It's not a context I buy at all, but it's what they use.  Within that context public schools would be included as socialism.  They are ok with paying for 13 years of education, but not 17?  This thread dies immediately if you go back to the core definitions of socialism because nothing in this country comes close to that definition including the proposals being brought forth by the "extreme left socialists" running for President.

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4 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Actually, I am using the context "anti-socialist" people use all the time.  It's not a context I buy at all, but it's what they use.  Within that context public schools would be included as socialism.  They are ok with paying for 13 years of education, but not 17?  This thread dies immediately if you go back to the core definitions of socialism because nothing in this country comes close to that definition including the proposals being brought forth by the "extreme left socialists" running for President.

It sounds like you have a disagreement with somebody on some other social media platform that you're trying to "win" here.  

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Just now, IvanKaramazov said:

It sounds like you have a disagreement with somebody on some other social media platform that you're trying to "win" here.  

Not at all.  Read this forum.  It's all here.  Schooling is the most black/white in terms of contradictions that I have seen in a political topic so that's why I brought it up as an example.  Any time I ask why paying for 13 years is "good" but 17 is "bad" the discussion stops.

Your point was that we should define the terms we are using.  I agree 100%.  I started pretty far right and gave my reasons for why I did so.  If that's not the definition we are going by that's cool.  What is the definition?

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1 minute ago, The Commish said:

Not at all.  Read this forum.  It's all here.  Schooling is the most black/white in terms of contradictions that I have seen in a political topic so that's why I brought it up as an example.  Any time I ask why paying for 13 years is "good" but 17 is "bad" the discussion stops.

Your point was that we should define the terms we are using.  I agree 100%.  I started pretty far right and gave my reasons for why I did so.  If that's not the definition we are going by that's cool.  What is the definition?

When people use the term "socialism" they pretty much always mean one of two things.  One meaning -- and I think is by far the most common -- is to describe a society that has a robust and expansive welfare state as opposed to a minimalist safety net.  Folks who use the term that way typically have Nordic countries in mind.  The other meaning, which is more academic, reserves the term "socialism" to refer to state ownership of the means of production.  It's worth noting that Nordic counties aren't actually socialist by that second definition, which is good to keep in mind as a reminder that these really are two completely different definitions of the same word, and we need to be careful not to slide back and forth between them by accident.

It so happens that the US is not very socialist by either definition.  Our welfare state is pretty minimal relative to most countries, and the government doesn't produce very many goods and services.  But in principle we could nationalize a bunch of industries while keeping our social services programs the way they are, or we could expand our social welfare programs while still relying almost entirely on private enterprise to produce stuff.  Those are almost completely unrelated issues.

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4 hours ago, jon_mx said:

The problem is eventually young people must work to make a living.   And once they start working and acheiving, they like to keep what they earn.  And eventually those ideas of just spreading the wealth around fades. 

This is true. I'm not sure if the exact premise is how it plays out, but we've seen this over and over. My dad was telling me once that he remembers thinking "just wait until my generation gets in charge! Things will be different." only to find out his generation of politicians and voters were just as bad if not worse than the ones he was complaining about.

3 hours ago, Glass Joe said:

I’m 48. Beyond my youthful years. I disagree with your premise.  I’m pretty well off and I’d be happy to give up more for other people’s needs who aren’t so fortunate.

While this is noble, you are not well grounded if you think you are in the majority. Most people are like "Summer Wheat" above - they think "this is my situation, so I'm in favor of whatever benefits me." Even the poor people voting for Trump think they are doing that. They're just too stupid to realize they're wrong.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The answer to the thread question is "not very much" and I base this solely on income inequality. We've got a big government, but it's clear the rich/corporations are writing the laws. They give just enough away to avoid anarchy, but keep every penny they think they can get away with via tax breaks, loopholes, etc. 

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3 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Schooling is the most black/white in terms of contradictions that I have seen in a political topic so that's why I brought it up as an example.  Any time I ask why paying for 13 years is "good" but 17 is "bad" the discussion stops.

I apparently missed a thread on this someplace, but I agree that this is a good and interesting topic.  The government already subsidizes higher education in a variety of ways, and it's an open question as to whether it should do more or less of that.  I work in higher education and I'm not opposed to all forms of government support, but a college education is more of a private good than a public good, and it's probably best that a large chunk of the cost is borne by the student.

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11 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I apparently missed a thread on this someplace, but I agree that this is a good and interesting topic.  The government already subsidizes higher education in a variety of ways, and it's an open question as to whether it should do more or less of that.  I work in higher education and I'm not opposed to all forms of government support, but a college education is more of a private good than a public good, and it's probably best that a large chunk of the cost is borne by the student.

How is lower education different by this definition?  Premise of the definition seems to be that competition for the good makes it a private good.  This applies to lower education as well.  Think about what people do to get into "good school districts" or if they aren't in the good school districts what they do to get their kids there anyway.  We see this all the time, to the point where it is even part of the real estate equation.  My daughter is on a waiting list for a school that is over 500 kids long (K-8) and the process to get into that school is absurd.

ETA:  I have a follow up to this by the way, that I'm not sure you'd give pushback on, but it's more a societal question/position to reconcile with regard to education as we compare it to corporations.  Might be for another thread though.

Edited by The Commish

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Just now, The Commish said:

How is lower education different by this definition?  Premise of the definition seems to be that competition for the good makes it a private good.  This applies to lower education as well.  

I agree.  I see public K-12 education as part of our minimalist welfare state, like Social Security.  If you're asking why we draw the line at 13 years of education instead of 17, there are two possible answers.  One is that we're going to draw the line someplace and 13 looks about right.  The other is that we don't actually draw a sharp line at 13 -- the government pays for the first 13 years and then helps out partially for years 14-17.

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27 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Not at all.  Read this forum.  It's all here.  Schooling is the most black/white in terms of contradictions that I have seen in a political topic so that's why I brought it up as an example.  Any time I ask why paying for 13 years is "good" but 17 is "bad" the discussion stops.

Your point was that we should define the terms we are using.  I agree 100%.  I started pretty far right and gave my reasons for why I did so.  If that's not the definition we are going by that's cool.  What is the definition?

You think people should get free grad school, too? Why draw the line at 17 when we could go to 21?

A line has to be drawn somewhere.

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1 minute ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I agree.  I see public K-12 education as part of our minimalist welfare state, like Social Security.  If you're asking why we draw the line at 13 years of education instead of 17, there are two possible answers.  One is that we're going to draw the line someplace and 13 looks about right.  The other is that we don't actually draw a sharp line at 13 -- the government pays for the first 13 years and then helps out partially for years 14-17.

This goes to my edit above.  Why does this look "right" today?  I understand why it looked "right" back in the 60s/70s, but the world is a different place now.  Individuals have more to deal with than they did before.  I'm wondering why that line stays the same given how different things are today.  We hear the argument all the time that we have to help our companies in this global market.  We need to do what's necessary for them to succeed.  We don't hear that for individuals and I've often tried to get an explanation for that disconnect.

Your second possibility here is probably the most cogent I've heard on the subject and it's true.  It still goes back to the question of is what we are doing enough to help people become competitive in that global market?

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2 minutes ago, FF Ninja said:

You think people should get free grad school, too? Why draw the line at 17 when we could go to 21?

A line has to be drawn somewhere.

It's not free :shrug:

I think our government should be doing as much for individuals to compete globally as they are willing to do for large multinational companies to compete globally.  By all accounts, a four year college degree today is the equivalent of a high school diploma 25 years ago.  I don't draw the line at a specific number.  I draw the line at wherever's necessary to achieve that ability to compete globally.  It's not the same for everyone, but it's certainly not a simple high school education as defined in this country.

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3 minutes ago, The Commish said:

It's not free :shrug:

I thought you were arguing for it to be free?

53 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Within that context public schools would be included as socialism.  They are ok with paying for 13 years of education, but not 17? 

 

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6 minutes ago, FF Ninja said:

I thought you were arguing for it to be free?

 

I was attempting to articulate a position I've heard many times, but I can't seem to do that correctly.  It's not something I agree with, so I am probably not the best person to try and make that argument.

To be clear, NONE of these programs are "free"...someone's paying for them and IMO, everyone should be paying SOMETHING into the system from which they are taking.  It can be actual money, time, effort, etc.  I've never seen a successful, thriving, healthy social program where people who were benefiting from the program weren't required to give back to it sans charities.

Edited by The Commish

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4 hours ago, Amused to Death said:

It's 38 over 10 years. The point remains.

Per that article, it is a negotiating tool.  We are buying influence there, not funding their healthcare.

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1 hour ago, IvanKaramazov said:

but a college education is more of a private good than a public good, and it's probably best that a large chunk of the cost is borne by the student.

Actually whether or not this is true for the class of 2020 and beyond is an interesting question.  I wonder if individually most people would be better off receiving highly specialized training for well paying jobs of today and then repeating this several times over their working careers as specific jobs come and go as opposed to a more generic college education?   For society I think the broader knowledge base of individuals would likely be beneficial in many ways.   At first I was going to mention that innovation would come from those with broader knowledge but then I started to think that many of the best known billionaires are dropouts who simply had tunnel vision. 

So in other words I don't know that I am arguing with your statement but just thinking out loud where I am talking myself in and out of agreement.  Which is what makes the question interesting to me.

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11 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I was attempting to articulate a position I've heard many times, but I can't seem to do that correctly.  It's not something I agree with, so I am probably not the best person to try and make that argument.

To be clear, NONE of these programs are "free"...someone's paying for them and IMO, everyone should be paying SOMETHING into the system from which they are taking.  It can be actual money, time, effort, etc.  I've never seen a successful, thriving, healthy social program where people who were benefiting from the program weren't required to give back to it sans charities.

It sounded like it was a position you've taken, if for nothing else, to be a devil's advocate. 

I don't actually have a strong take on the matter, but I do feel strongly we shouldn't even be talking about it until we balance our budget. As our debt increases, a larger percentage of our spending goes to paying interest, thus our spending on social programs will have to shrink. 

And of course I know none of the programs are literally free, but I was using "free" colloquially and I thought that was obvious. 

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To answer my own question, a large amount of government programs are socialist in mature.  That doesn't make us a socialist nation.

The current divide is where some wish to draw the line saying “thats too much”. Whether that is education, healthcare...

 

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35 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

Actually whether or not this is true for the class of 2020 and beyond is an interesting question.  I wonder if individually most people would be better off receiving highly specialized training for well paying jobs of today and then repeating this several times over their working careers as specific jobs come and go as opposed to a more generic college education?   For society I think the broader knowledge base of individuals would likely be beneficial in many ways.   At first I was going to mention that innovation would come from those with broader knowledge but then I started to think that many of the best known billionaires are dropouts who simply had tunnel vision. 

So in other words I don't know that I am arguing with your statement but just thinking out loud where I am talking myself in and out of agreement.  Which is what makes the question interesting to me.

I don't think we can predict the paths the next billionaires take or the best path for people in general or the best path where innovation comes from. Therefore, I think the best approach for society is to make more options available and let people decide which path they would like to take (within reason). Hedge our bets as a society, if you will. 

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1 hour ago, FF Ninja said:

You think people should get free grad school, too? Why draw the line at 17 when we could go to 21?

A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Yep. When they arent minors any more seems like a good place to draw it. 

 

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6 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

To answer my own question, a large amount of government programs are socialist in mature.  That doesn't make us a socialist nation.

The current divide is where some wish to draw the line saying “thats too much”. Whether that is education, healthcare...

 

Its ok that we give billions to billionaires and huge corporations, but when us little people actually want affordable education and healthcare we're labelled as wanting a handout.

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1 hour ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I agree.  I see public K-12 education as part of our minimalist welfare state, like Social Security.  If you're asking why we draw the line at 13 years of education instead of 17, there are two possible answers.  One is that we're going to draw the line someplace and 13 looks about right.  The other is that we don't actually draw a sharp line at 13 -- the government pays for the first 13 years and then helps out partially for years 14-17.

There is also a state/local/federal discussion involved too. 

Nevada actually has pretty cheap in state tuition for college. I dont hear any comparisons to the soviet union. 

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14 minutes ago, Black Box said:

I don't think we can predict the paths the next billionaires take or the best path for people in general or the best path where innovation comes from. Therefore, I think the best approach for society is to make more options available and let people decide which path they would like to take (within reason). Hedge our bets as a society, if you will. 

Don't think we as a society care so much about the creation of billionaires as much as to the innovation that creates them.  And I'm not sure that everything that creates enormous wealth for their creators is all that great for society in general, but I still think that ultimately the "marketplace of ideas" is still the best place to ultimately hash this out.  And for that I agree that options for individuals to take their own paths is best approach.  But the academic question of whether or not a college education is more of a "public" or "private" good going forward remains for me.  Or maybe the answer is just "yes". 

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Yeah, it's socialized, not socialism, isn't it?! Although, as one who grew up during the Cold War, i am amused by how much more comfortable being Socialists than beneficiaries of a welfare state folks are these days.

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