Spot The Commie

I am absolutely thrilled about this next step at America’s Right. Almost exactly a year ago, when this Web site was in its infancy, I asked a friend of mine to write a piece on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill authored by Sen. Ted Kennedy and eventual GOP nominee Sen. John McCain. And write he did — the piece was so comprehensive and so well-done that we ran it as a three-part series.

The series was entitled “An Immigrant Looks at Immigration,” because Samuel Fain came here to the United States from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Just as I wanted his perspective as an immigrant on that particular one of John McCain’s three legislative abominations–the other two being the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 written with Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (campaign finance reform) written with Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold–I’ve been looking to him for insight as Barack Obama and the Democrats help America down the slippery slope into socialism.

So much as I’ve asked him to provide targeted perspective along with anything else he sees fit, Sam will have his own little niche here at America’s Right. Tentatively, I’m calling it “Socialism on our Doorstep.” I am absolutely delighted to have Sam back here at America’s Right, and I greatly look forward to more contributions whenever he can fit them into his intensely busy schedule. I get the feeling that, over the next four years under this current regime, his unique perspective will be needed much more than many of us would like. Without further ado . . . Samuel Fain.

– Jeff

By Samuel Fain
America’s Right

As I was sitting at home, getting depressed by the news of our country going down the socialist drain, I tried to cheer myself up by remembering old episodes of my favorite comedy shows. Something from Monty Python, I thought. It was smart (okay, it was smart most of the time), it was British when Britain had still been a worthwhile country and, frankly, it was just funny.

So, in the spirit of Dennis Moore and his lupin redistribution scheme gone sour, I present to you a fun game: “Spot the Commie.”

The rules are simple: I set up the scene from my Soviet past or American present, and you need to guess which country I am talking about at the moment, USSR/Russia, or modern-day U.S.A. Easy, right? Well, let’s begin with the categories, shall we, Alex[ei]?

  1. Nationalized banks
  2. Government dictating salaries
  3. Nationalized health care
  4. Government using GPS to track everyday citizens
  5. “Spreading the wealth”
  6. Leader of a Country warning against too much government intervention in economy

That wasn’t too hard, was it? Let’s see how we did with this little quiz:

Question No. 1: Which country argued fiercely the merits of nationalizing banks?
Answer: Both the United States and the USSR are guilty of this!

Of course, the Soviet Union, being a socialist country, actually went ahead and nationalized the banks with a single State Bank which dealt with all of its citizens. The government set interest rates for savings, for loans, and for pretty much everything else. The government knew how much money you had, and which branches you used. The government decided to whom a loan could be given, and for how much. No surprise, right?

What is surprising–and extremely frustrating and disappointing–is that the United States is moving in the same direction. A year ago, political support for this would have been unthinkable, but the collapse of our financial system, coupled with successful fear-mongering at the highest levels of government from the president down, created a climate when nationalizing banks is now presented as a necessity. Even worse, both congressional Democrats and Republicans alike are advocating for this, most notably with non-conservative Republicans like South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham providing their support for the scheme.


Question No. 2: Which government dictated salaries for citizens?
Answer: Again, both are guilty.

In a socialist country, the government owns all enterprises and, as the sole owner, it controls all aspects of their activities — including, of course, setting wages. In the Soviet Union, everybody across the country had the same pay for the same job. An engineer at a certain level was paid the same amount of money in Moscow and Kiev, Leningrad and Ryazan. Merit did not enter into this, and neither did the needs of a particular company. For instance, a factory could be desperately short of a certain type of workers, but it could not entice candidates with higher wages.

We are not quite at that stage yet, but even with the facially innocuous idea of minimum wages we have been on that road for some time now. Even scarier is a provision in the so-called “stimulus” legislation signed into law a week ago which sets caps on compensation for executives of enterprises that accepted or were forced to accept the bailout money. While, at face value, it seems fair and consequently plays really well to the populist mood of the masses, it ensures that top talent will not be accessible to the very banks and organization which need top talent most, the very banks and organizations we are supposedly trying to save by throwing billions of dollars at them.

Of course, once we start on this road, we will never stop. A matter of hours after the provision was first discovered, a number of congressmen including but not limited to Massachusetts’ own Barney Frank suggested that the government set compensation ceilings for executives regardless of whether the company in question took government bailout money or not. So, already, there are demands that the government set caps on other executive positions, and with its radical roots and socialist leanings, the Obama administration will likely only be happy to oblige.


Question No. 3: Which country nationalized the health care system?
Answer: USSR (so far).

Long lines to doctors, no modern medications, techniques or equipment, no concept of a second opinion, the same pitiful standard of care for all but the elite few . . . such was the reality of the Soviet health system. Of course, if you knew somebody who knew somebody, and you could “thank” those two somebodies with money, food packages or maybe returned favors, then you could get something more than an impersonal, production line style “care.” Better yet, if you were a foreigner or a member of the ruling “servants of the people.” Then, if you were lucky to live in Moscow, you could potentially get an almost-Western quality of healthcare, or at least as close to it as those exclusive, closed-to-the-public clinics could provide.

Otherwise, sorry, you were out of luck.

Fortunately, we are not there yet, but I wonder how far off we truly are. Provisions for money and preparation and more were included in the same so-called “stimulus” package. Sadly, a healthcare system designed by the likes of Tom Daschle and Hillary Clinton is just around the corner and, in looking back upon the Soviet system, the result here will be the same.

How could it be any different? Once your doctor is paid a fixed salary by some faceless bureaucrat in Washington regardless of what care–or quality of care–he or she provides, and once you are assigned that doctor by some other bureaucrat based upon where you live, what is that doctor’s incentive to provide better care? When the very government which already broken and inefficient in so many ways is not remotely able to compete with private enterprises in compensation, what kind of doctors will such a national system be left with? And when there is no competition between providers, what will the standard of care be? When “evil pharmaceutical companies” are forced to sell their product at fixed prices and, on the other hand, when they know that their older drugs can continue to be forever sold through the government, what is the incentive of those companies to invest billions in new research?

нуль. That’s “zero,” as in zero incentive for good care, zero incentive for ingenuity, and zero difference between the new American system and the old Soviet one.


Question No. 4: Which government advocated using GPS to track everyday citizens?
Answer: U.S.A., all the way.

No, the Soviets hadn’t done it because they couldn’t, and modern Russians don’t need it.

On the other hand, however, several states in our own country are doing or proposing doing just that, driven by fluxuations in gas prices which dig into state tax revenue. Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, for instance, intends to tax his subjects based on the number of miles they drive, a process facilitated by using GPS to track the movement of vehicles in Massachusetts through a mandatory chip installed at yearly safety inspections. Sounds too big-brotherish and paranoid to be true? Alas, that’s exactly Patrick’s plan, starting in 2014. The same concept is also being considered in a number of other states, including Oregon, though the White House has nixed the idea. Of course, the White House also said that the so-called “stimulus” package was devoid of reckless spending, and we all see how that turned out.


Question No. 5: “Spreading the wealth” is a concept associated with which country?
Answer: Both the United States and the USSR.

The basic tenet of communism is that everything belongs to everyone. No one owns any property, and the “society,” through a government, distributes things to people as they are needed.

Socialism, being an “intermediate stage” on the path to communism, accepts a limited idea of private property on personal items such as clothes, cars and, at times, even dwellings. However, means of production–as well as results of individual labor–belong to “the collective,” meaning it belongs to the government. Then, of course, the government redistributes the generated wealth as it sees fit, generally on the basis of perceived social “fairness.”

We are certainly going along that way. We have many social programs that take money involuntarily paid in taxes by one segment of the population–the “haves”–and give it in the form of possessions, services, or even cash to another segment of the population–”the have-nots”–as “fairness” or “justice” mandates. This is the redistribution of wealth, plain and simple.

Now, you can agree with this practice or you can disagree with it, but let’s be honest with ourselves — it is what it is. Our new president, according to his own well-publicized words, wants to “spread the wealth” even more. The worst thing about it? Such steps are irreversible. There are two reasons for this:

First, redistribution of wealth creates dependence. When somebody gets something for nothing, he or she has no incentive to do something else, to find work or to educate him or herself. That person now depends on the government to provide for him or her. We see this already, again, in the so-called “stimulus” bill. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is prepared to reject some of the federal money because it expands unemployment benefits to people unwilling–not merely unable–to obtain employment. And, of course, after the federal “stimulus” money runs out, the “haves” of that state would be on the hook to support, with higher taxes, the state’s willing “have-nots.”

Second, it becomes political suicide for someone to advocate abolition of any existing “entitlement.” Such politician immediately gets vilified as someone who would take the last piece of bread out of the hand of starving children, elderly or disadvantaged. Again, let’s be honest with ourselves — once these programs are in place, they are in place forever.

Question No. 6: Which nation’s leader warned the world against too much government intervention in the economy?
Answer: That country is Russia!

Amazingly, as covered here at America’s Right this weekend, it was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who recently warned the West against going the Socialist route.

(I was so amazed by this I purposely put nothing up for almost two days, just so as many people as possible could see it. And more than 25,000 people did. — Jeff)

At the very moment when our country strengthens the involvement of government in the economy and ties up private enterprises in the ever-growing web of rules and regulations, the Russian PM and president puts their faith in the markets and shows that his country has learned from the painful mistakes of their Socialist past. Putin warns against the very populist and isolationist knee-jerk reactions we are witnessing right now in Washington. It almost reads Kafkaesque, doesn’t it? Well, it’s a strange world that we now live in.

It was not long ago that the word “socialist” was a dirty word. When nationalizing banks was a taboo that even the radical left wing of the Democratic Party would not publicly advocate. When the notion of the American federal government dictating salaries for employees of private companies sounded absurd. When we were a capitalist country. When America was lecturing Russia on the fallacies of Socialism.

Where did that time go? How did we turn into what we abhorred, and how did it all happen in less than a year?

So, did you spot a Commie?

I did. It is us.

—————
Samuel Fain is a software engineer who left socialism only to find it again, emigrating from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s only to end up in Massachusetts upon arriving in the United States. Sam has since relocated to southern New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state, where he lives with his wife. Sam wrote a few pieces for America’s Right within months of its inception, and began again in February 2009.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for this, Jeff and Samuel!
    I’m going to send it on to others, “who will listen.”

    Here’s something to pass on, if you’d like:
    St. Louis Tea Party is planned for Friday:
    St. Louis area conservatives will host a protest against the Obama Generational Theft Act this Friday at 11 AM at the steps of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
    Time and Place Date: Friday, February 27, 2009
    Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
    Location: The Steps of Arch
    Street: Wharf Street
    City/Town: Saint Louis, MO

    Here’s the Facebook Page for details.
    Contact email bill@hennessysview.com

    Saw it on gatewaypundit.com

  2. IseLL101 says:

    Ok, we know that limiting the salary of Executives is not the way to go, But where is the outrage when these execs that make the large salaries, give bonuses to there staff in the tens of millions of dollars, after the company loses billions of dollars in the past year.
    Where is the outrage, when an executive, remodels his office for a million plus after losing billions and having the company taken over by others to keep it from declaring bankruptcy. Where is the outrage by the ones in the ivory towers. Let them justify this so it makes sense to the ones not losing companies to bankruptcy and losing billions of dollars.
    where is the outrage to defend this behavior of the execs that remain diligent in their responsibility to the stockholders of our corporations.
    Sure we need the best and the brightest to lead the way and make the big decisions. But, do we need to pay them irresponsible millions in bonuses to stay and lose more money. How do they, you , we , us, justify the waste to keep losers in positions of power???
    Where is the outrage???
    I am just a guy making a commission on every vehicle I sell. I don’t have any answers to these huge financial questions, but I know I don’t want big government setting how much money I make. But where is the outrage from the big business, corporate community that is paying these ridiculous bonuses. Share the justification of million dollar bonuses to someone running the company down the tubes, then getting a boost from Washington, and spreading around the bonuses out of the bailout?? Please someone explain, how big corporate businesses can do this and nobody says anything that I have heard yet.
    If you will just justify this to me, us, maybe I can see more clearly.;

    from just a guy making a commission

  3. Amy says:

    IseLL101,

    You must not have been paying attention to real conservatives lately. Real conservatives have been against every bailout and “stimulus” that’s come down the pike. We have expressed outrage and George W. Bush’s approval ratings at the end were proof that most conservatives did not like what he was doing.

    There is no reason to bailout irresponsible CEO’s, companies, etc. The companies should have been allowed to fail and reorganize through bankruptcy if that was an option.

    We are on the fast track to socialism and if people don’t wake up soon, it will be too late.

    That’s the problem with these Dems/socialist ideas. They are always some kind of gov’t programs and gov’t programs NEVER GO AWAY. Republicans may change laws or tax rates but most of what they do never involves establishing more bureaucracy and entitlement programs. There have been a few exceptions to this, but for the most part it is true.

    Unfortunately, Obama won. I hear over and over again that he has a mandate for change. The problem is, his change is horrific.

  4. Gail B says:

    Well, just blow me away, Samuel Fain! (Somebody grab a foot quick!)

    How sweetly done! How simple yet powerful! How unfortunately true.

    Thanks, guys! (Jeff, keep him busy!)

  5. MUJERLATINA says:

    I haven’t drawn a regular paycheck from my medical practice in over a year — “glitches in the computers..”, say the health insurance companies; “wrong CPT code”, says Medicare; “We lost your HFCA forms…”,says the managed Medicaid company that owes me thousands. I continue to pay my overhead and staff, draw off savings, say my prayers and try to explain to my two young daughters that “things are very tight.”, and we must forego any extras, including class trips, birthday parties and new clothing. The American Medical System is BROKEN, and it’s only partly socialized. What will happen when it goes “Bolshevik?” This single mom is working hard, and getting no real paycheck. Because I’m the ‘owner’ of my solo practice I don’t qualify for unemployment, and God forbid I get hurt on the job, I don’t qualify for Workman’s Compensation. Unbelievable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sam, excellent article!! Glad you are here with us on Jeff’s site to offer your view and perception of what is going on these days. Thank you for joining this team (again).

  7. Anonymous says:

    AH, there’s a mistake on your list.

    Considering the fact that fees for medical procedures are dictated by the government (code), the US has had socialized medicine for years, it’s the public who’s been duped, or ignorant with ever asking for insurance (scam) reform

    “Where’s the outrage” is becoming quite the mantra of do nothing society.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No coverage of Keyes or lawsuits?Just wondering why?

  9. Anonymous says:

    To “Just a guy making a commission”

    I share your outrage at the obscene salaries and bonuses paid to financial institution executives, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

    The first “wrong” is the government appropriating taxpayer money for distribution to failing banks, guided only by a few politicians and former Wall Street executives (in this case, Paulson and Obama’s new Sec. of the Treasury, Geithner).

    The second “wrong” is allowing the government to start dictating operational terms to ANY share-holder-owned private enterprise. In a free capitalistic system, only the shareholders should have the right to dictate terms, including executive salaries and bonuses.

    So, as in all such issues in a free economy, we must not relieve those who hold responsibilty for corporate governence from the consequences of THEIR failure to curb these excesses. In this case, it is the shareholders who own this problem and it is their repsonsibility, not yours or mine, or the government’s.

    Enraging – yes – but it only exacerbates the problem for the government to step in with taxpayer money, mouthing the oxymoron We’re from the government and we’re here to help”. Those who deserve to fail should be allowed to fail. Period.

    Old Bob

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Sam, and Jeff. Tremendous article, but still so hard to believe, that it happened here, and happened so quickly. Welcome back.

    And did we spot a Commie? Sure did…
    and a la Pogo, we have met the enemy, and it is us. Unbelieveable.

    bebe

  11. Lisa says:

    Dear Commission Guy:

    You are not alone in your frustration. But……

    You must go much deeper than your current knowledge of the causes for our country’s perils! You MUST understand that the REAL REASON that corporations and banks have made such risky, damaging decisions largely lies in the fact that they KNOW that the FED will bail them out. You must understand that our problem is deeper and much more systemic than “greedy, foolish corporate executives”!

    THE ROOT PROBLEM IS GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE IN OUR MARKETS AND CURRENCY THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR OVER A CENTURY!

    If you don’t understand what I am talking about, you need to read “MELTDOWN” BY Thomas E. Woods, Jr. The federal government has been meddling in and crippling America’s free market forever, all for political gain! The TRUE FREE MARKET functions healthily when institutions such as the FED and Congress do not interfere with its natural cycle.

    Greed and corruption DO exist, yes….but they exist in every industry, both great and small. The reason the large banks and financial institutions make such damaging risks is because they KNOW THAT THE FED AND THE GOVT. WILL INSURE THEIR RISK AND BAIL THEM OUT, through propping up, cheap credit, and federal insurance.

    BLAME OUR GOVERNMENT FOR THIS, NOT THE TRUE FREE MARKET!!

    And if you want to be mad or resentful towards someone, then let it be the damn feds…they are ruining our free country, and b/c most people do not understand TRUE economic principles, the federal govt. can blame it on capitalism, and the ignorant masses will never know the difference!

    INSTEAD OF WATCHING A GAME ON T.V. OR SOME OTHER MINDLESS SHOW AFTER A HARD, GRUELING DAY AT WORK, START EDUCATING YOURSELF IN THE CONCEPTS OF THE CONSTITUTION AND TRUE FREE MARKET CAPITALISM.

    Suggested reading:
    “Meltdown”: Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
    5000 Year Leap, Cleon Skousen

    Just remember this: Everytime a U.S. citizen jumps on the bandwagon of resenting capitalism, the marxist administration smiles…they have won over one more vote to secure permanent power!

    Keep your head up and work harder if you have to. The pilgrims and pioneers went through more (and survived) than any of our generation could ever think of enduring. We must be strong, and not weak!

  12. Anonymous says:

    maybe the naturalized americans that suffered the communist oppression would be the ones to wake up the rest of the americans from the narcosis that had been inflicted on us in the past year, with the endeless speeches gear to cause manipulation, and confusion
    I HOPE IS NOT TOO LATE

  13. Lisa says:

    Samuel:

    You are a truly amazing and brilliant person!! I wish we could adopt more citizens like you, and deport those that wish to live under the oppression YOU experienced!

    Your commentary means more than the vast bulk of all other past and present posts here….simply b/c you experienced the brutality and hopelessness that a socialist/marxist regime enforces. It is much easier to call a spade a spade when you have actually “been in the poker game”!

    Welcome to americasright! You are a brave champion for true freedom!

    I actually got teary-eyed while reading your piece…not for myself or fellow Americans, but for YOU, because you are trying to live a life of freedom in our dear America. I am so sorry that it has become what it has…I grieve for you.

    Why don’t you move to Texas? If all hell breaks loose, you will be amongst a majority of people who understand what you are trying to say and WILL NOT PUT UP WITH SUCH TYRRANY!

    Thanks, Samuel (and Jeff, for finding him!).

    As Tiny Tim said, God bless us, everyone!

  14. Sam Fain says:

    Thank you, everybody, for the kind words! I am really stunned by this feedback; I didn’t expect anything like this.

    Lisa,
    Please don’t grieve for me. Ours is still the best country on this planet. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Literally.

    It’s not over. Yes, this slide into Socialism is frightening, and it seems unstoppable, but we’re not quite there yet. Who knows, maybe the country will wake up. There’s still time. This country survived the New Deal. Hopefully, we can survive New Deal 2, Lenin Strikes Back.

    IseLL101,
    If you don’t like the way a company does business, don’t buy its stock. Individual freedom also means individual responsibility. Freedom to pursue happiness also means freedom to be dumb and end up miserable. If shareholders of a company like losing money while their execs heap outrageous bonuses onto themselves, it’s their business. They’ll lose money, the company will go under, and I’m OK with that.
    What I’m not OK with is the idea that I as a taxpayer should pay those bonuses, or pay the shareholders for the value they lost in their stock, or pay for the company to stay afloat, or in any other way, shape or form pay to bail out a private enterprise. As long as I’m not forced to do that, it’s not my business how that private enterprise does its business. And it’s definitely not the government’s business. Where do they find a right to tell a private company how it should compensate its employees? If a company does things right, it’ll succeed. If it doesn’t, it’ll fail. None of it is the business of the government.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Samuel,
    Great piece thru the eyes of an insider.

    I was just reading “Lenin” and “Communism” entries from our old World Book encyclopedias yesterday. The resemblances were chilling.

    Has anyone seen or heard what Cantor said today? I read somewhere that he was kissing up.

    I can’t remember who said it but someone suggested we grab the first 500 people from the Boston phonebook and let them run the government. Maybe we should latch on to that idea. ;-)

  16. Rix says:

    My respect goes to Samuel Fain, my compatriot, former and current, for layout the similarities out so clearly. We of the Russian Exodus destroyed Israel in 1992 (not me personally, heaven forbid, I was likely born a right-winger) by voting the Labor gang in, but it is perhaps our destiny to save the USA by crying out loud. Ayn Rand was, after all, also a Russian.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Just read on World Net Daily about a law suit seeking to remove a Cross from a Veterans Memorial site. The Cross is encased in a wooden box so no one can see it while the case is being heard.
    Russia, on the other hand is re-discovering its amazingly beautiful Crosses, Crucifixes, Churches, Cathedrals and Monasteries, renovating them and proudly showing them off to the world. They also highlight their beautiful churh services in all their traditinal splendour.
    President Bush really did see the soul of Russia in Mr. Putin’s eyes, a soul rooted in more than a thousand years of Christian Tradition.
    In contrast America’s vaunted “Judeo-Christian” Christianity is only skin deep, it is not rooted in Tradition, but rather on the whims of charismatic individuals and agressively marketed like any other comodity on a supply and demand basis. When the demand ends the comodity is withdrawn.
    The ideal life span, according to the psalmist, is seventy years, or by reason of strength, eighty. This truth seems to apply not only to the human person, but also to nations.The Soviet Union lasted approximately seventy years, then withered and died. The USA has been a super power for approximately seventy years and it is showing all the signs of advancing age. The first of which is memory loss. I don’t think even embryonic stem cells transplanted in huge numbers will reverse the course of nature.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If you want to know what your state is getting from this stimulus package, check out this state-by-state listing.

    http://www.mikehuckabee.com/index.cfm?fa=News.View&News_id=313522a6-bd83-4ee0-aa25-740d6c23f17b

  19. carder says:

    It dawned on me today that the Hope and Change mantra, now the Crisis and Catastrophe mantra, is all we hear from this President.

    I have NEVER heard him use the terms Liberty and Freedom on a consistent basis. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think those words have been used in succession in reference to our country by our supposed leader.

    Some days I feel like I’m in a bad boyfriend relationship with this Prez…

  20. thunderprince says:

    Everyone was so surprised that Congress bailed out AIG so quickly however let others fail – it is because Congress’ pension plan is administered by AIG!!!!

    Anymore questions?

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