Buy Buy Europe

2013, Economics  -   63 Comments

The Eurozone was built at the high point of the neo-liberalism and the people who built it actually believed in their effort. They believed that if we had liberalized banks they would send money to where it is most needed and they believed that if you left it to the market there would be investments and growth. They assumed that in a globalized capitalism there would be no more crises and it's very dangerous when people believe that rhetoric and it's even more dangerous when they act upon those beliefs.

New prosperity for everybody - that was the promise of the Euro. But while the value of the Euro rose steadily in the first years, in the south of Europe the pressure was building. The credit crunch, the debt crisis followed by the big recession exposed everything. The European Union is an union of competition and inequality. This story begins with the fall of the first domino - the moment when the financial bubble burst.

If we want to understand why major reforming of the banking sector isn't happening we need to go to Brussels, the lobby capitol of Europe. There are 4500 accredited lobbyists and they have free access to the parliament at any time. There are six times as many lobbyists as there are members of parliament. In fact lobbyists have privileged access to the policymakers.

In 2012 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that the financial sector was as unstable as it was before the start of the crisis. Lobbyists did their utmost best to stop all true reform, and the political world made it possible for them to do so. In the aftermath of the financial crisis a group of experts was put together to advise the European Commission on the needed reform.

Out of 42 members of that advisory group, 34 were selected from the financial sector. After much protest the composition of this expert group was broadened, but this example proves how far the influence of the lobbyists reaches. The way that the banks have been saved clearly shows that this has nothing to do with the economic theory.

Ratings: 8.26/10from 150 users.

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63 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Mark

    These people sure are concerned about their "benefits." LOL. That's the exact wrong strategy to pull yourself out of a slump. Taxation does have to be addressed, but tax policy alone won't make that much of a difference in the big scheme of things. And Austerity is coming whether you like it or not. Yes, it has the effect of a damper in the short run, but reasonable austerity and a growth plan facilitated by govt policy is the way forward in the long run. Chile is a good example of a country that decided to pull their head out and make something work. They've got a long way to go, but they've also come a long way. One thing I'll agree with, letting bankers run your fiscal policy, taxation and issue currency through a central bank just produces really, really, wealthy bankers.

  2. Pro

    The reason Europe is in crisis, is not the ideals of its founders; the same about U.S.A., the reason it has a huge debt and a small decline(now) in science , is not the thinking of its forefathers.

    And believe it or not, the reason U.S.S.R. has fallen was not the basis of communism, no matter how faulty it is in a big part of its ideology.

    This thinking comes from the puppeteers to have the masses acquiesce their propaganda. I bet it is hilarious for them seeing their puppets arguing according to the group they were led to believe they accepted by themselves.

    If my house crumbles to pieces because someone puts a bomb into it, this is neither the fault of the architect, nor the fault of bad maintenance. Now , no-one claims that the science of masonry, or the regular maintenance do not play a significant role as to how long my house will stand upright, but one has to see things for what they are and be able to discern the major cause every time.

    So , I can argue as long as you want about ideas and policies, but first things first.

  3. bill

    # Lenny. the black president is just another puppet of the system, put in power at a time when the common man was so fed up with politics/economics/war tha something had to change. so we are shown how far weve come by having a black candidate who made all the right promises (just as those who came before him had..... end poverty bring peace to the middle east, close guantanamo, reign in the banks and big business and save the planet.... we all know it was all lies and that whatever colour or gender or religion our leaders are, we the people will always suffer. The UK was once an industrial heavyweight but the wealthy sort to invest in cheaper labour and move textile manufactutring to India along with all the machinery. The UK coal industry was smashed by thatcher even though over 90% of the coal is still under the ground in the UK, viable pits were closed, the last one just a few weeks ago. The government here awards train building contracts to foreign companies at the risk of finishing off the oldest train builder in the world, most of our infrastructure is foreign owned ,from power supply to railways, bus companies and the like. Your fantasy world where america is the great land of hope just dosnt exist. like the UK the USA is moving industry to other cheaper nations, creating black holes of poverty at home for the sake of a few extra dollars in the bank (the same bank that broke the economy and got bonuses for it , all paid for by the tax payer. You basically have open borders from the south and north and the free trade agreements are destroying smaller businesses for the benefit of massive corporations whose only concern is the filthy lucre.
    the western world is not showing signs of progress on human rights,peaceful coexistence, agriculture, pollution, democracy or tolerance.

  4. coryn


    Off the top of my head I would say that the idea of 'always needing more', for whatever and whatever reason, may be the origin of many of our problems. The situation can be seen in anthropological terms, as we are the product of thousands and millions of years of evolution. I suggest starting with the concept of 'homeostasis', the idea that the very innermost part of each of us, the memory, thought and decision making parts, wants to always return to a position of balance, a place where breathing, heart rate, bodily chemicals, etc. are all at rest and satisfied, such as not hungry, no high blood pressure, no excess oxygen demands, etc.. From this spot we face the real world, and the task of getting enough food, rest, oxygen and water, every second of our existence. We all experience this, at first during those long, long early years, when we established memories of what worked and what didn't, of how to get our way going forward…… But we don't remember those years, or the people who acted as 'models' for our behavior, people who were good to us and made us feel good and healthy. It was enough to know that grandma or uncle or aunt did things this way, and it worked for them. So I try it for myself. And thus we decide what we will do in the future under similar situations. We use our own past experiences as models for our future actions.

    But we simply can't experience what another person does. We can have empathy and understanding, but not the 'felt' experience. Take for instance the consideration of 'saving for tomorrow'. The idea of not consuming all my food now, but saving some for tomorrow must have occurred early in our lives. How comforting to know that what I killed today will be here tomorrow for my consumption. But another individual may think differently, and decide that it is better to consume it all now, and not chance having it stolen, or decayed. Instantly we have a division of 'possible futures'…. and….. the possibility that someone might steal what I have saved.

    We know that the hunter/gatherer organization for humans proved most effective for thousands and thousands of years, so why would we assume that millions living in cities would be effective. And you're right Martin, the solutions we've come up with don't seem to work. We can't agree upon much, and so force and domination become the norm, where 'might makes right' we say. You've asked for ideas, and offered some, such as to 'localize', to go back to a smaller group organization, perhaps without 'money', to a barter situation. But immediately conflicts develop within an individual, as the loss of comforts and pleasures would ensue. Imagine your life without hot water and water pressure. Immediately life becomes harder. And imagine life without the power grid at all, a radical change, and much more work to get food and water.

    I'm not sure forgoing innovations like money, and larger social groups is the answer. All of us are so self-centered, since we experience only one death, and we will likely kill another to keep ourselves alive, over whatever situation prompts it. Our nature is to survive at any cost I believe. We have a facade of peacefulness and friendliness, but when conflicts arise, I choose me and mine. How can it be any other way? We assumed that enough production could satisfy us, but then we learned that our populations were growing too fast…… Today, some nations such as the Pakistanis are reducing family size as social mores change.

    The population 'explosion', I think, is the problem, the 'pressure' behind the fear and greed we live with. When I was young the government, the 'servants' of the people, made less money than the average white collar worker. Today they make much more, and we know why, we see that money buys votes, that it will buy another couple of years in government, a job with a pension and health plan now a little better than the average 'working' man.

    What to do? I am not optimistic at all. People have such a tough time agreeing upon anything. Paper is not money. Gold is money since it requires human labor to obtain it. Gold, a medium of exchange and standard of value, is not the problem, only people are the problem, they simply can't agree. But they can be induced to go to war quite easily. I fear that reality will produce a shock, anything that can collapse the money and social structure, or produce another world war. Since humans have been fighting each other forever, it's hard to imagine a way to change it. A collapse will produce localization I think, but whether that will help I don't know……

    I won't be here to know, but you look like you'll see a lot more years, best of luck to you and yours…….


    P.S. I've posted to you in a couple of places because I don't know how to work the internet very well.....

  5. sharp eyes

    black scholar's.. comment isn't racist.. as its not the common peoples of Europe he is referring to.. but the Feudalist's..(present capitalists) who are practising mockracy""" and trying to slave their own peoples. to protect their bloodlines.. the false idea that the rich can save the rest is and has always been a myth.. read any wisdom book!!!

  6. Black Scholar

    Pity. Europe Stole everything from other people. Kill, maim, plunder that is a European.

    There isn't anything in that FROZEN place called europe. But LOOTED goods from afar.

    1. Fight racism

      One of the most ignorant and racist comments,coming from a true "Black Scholar"

    2. RPaulino1

      I'm sure he means the elites

  7. Julien

    unfortunately the documentary does not explain much new insights, i think what this documentary imposes is not feasible, the world economy is not weakening, but powers are shifting. While many of us are now suffering from the crisis, unfortunately this is the only way to power ourselves against other emerging economies, europe is still losing its competitiveness and jobs will reduce further, sad but true. The rich are eventually the once that must create capital in our societies, and human nature is unfortunately that if we can do it somewhere else better they will leave, governments are quite powerless on these issues. So take the pill and improve ourselves to come out stronger.

  8. ben

    take the wealth from the rich and empower the people!

    Why does the minority get it all and we the working class get less every year?I have to work 2 jobs to survive yet our governments give hand outs to the rich and bail out the banks.Why are people not doing much about these criminals?I think we should have more say in the big decisions that our governments make by way of vote?If I acted like the leaders of our world I would be out of a job.

  9. steviecomment

    As banks make profits from inflation, (that they cause) all banks should be privatised, like suggested in the film. This has it's own problems. Should we allow our Gov to run something so important?

    So Banking is working with numbers. Something computers do really well, we could let Skynet have a go?

    1. Athel Dunning

      At least we have some kind of say in choosing the government through direct democracy, what power do we have to replace the heads of the banks.

      Accountability alone is a good enough argument for national ownership of the banks.

      The return of profits to the public purse would be a second good reason, the massive profits these corporations make would pay off national debts.

    2. steviecomment

      I agree, but i guess with all this big business lobbying thats going on, thats the down side of governments.

      But i'm up for change.

    3. disqus_KaGdwj0Fv8

      how is accountability going to improve by nationalizing the banks? most governments are remarkably poor at taking account for their past actions and trying something that works. The 2nd would destroy any reason to set up almost any business as it would destroy the profit motive, the whole reason people open a business up to begin with. Im sorry but you sound like a socalist, it feels like im talking to a modern democrat.

  10. socratesuk

    What are the solutions? Scrap money? Scrap interest? Ban debt?....

    If we ever got invaded by aliens, my first question to them would be ...what kind of economic system do you lot have back home?

    1. Martin Palmgren

      Instinctively I would say the solution is no money att all, but as most people today are incapable of non-economic thinking I doubt it would save the day.
      A more realistic suggestion would be nationalized money without central banking, but taking the power away from private banking hands tend to lead to war and violence.
      That leaves me at my third and last suggestion; start using money as they were intend to, namely as an exchange for goods and services. Leave it at that. Localize your economy and get the masses to ignore the illusion of interest and financial games. In the end it is all something we made up and no other animal is using it. Why should we?

    2. socratesuk

      Thank you for your post.
      Localizing the economy might help, but it ignores the fact that most of the products in an average house, come from all over the world. (We could ask ourselves do we need half of the stuff in our homes, and the answer would probably be no).

      Heating, hot-water, drinkable tap water, and electricity, and the internet I would argue are essentials, but people fill their homes with all kinds of pointless clutter and stuff that they don't really use or need.

      Scrapping interest also creates credit supply problems. Credit and loans are very important in allowing new businesses to come to market, and offer new services and products. That said maybe governments could offer more low-interest loans to certain start-ups.

      I don't really know what the solution is. But it would be nice for a debate on possible solutions. One of the sad things about the Occupy movement was the lack of practical ideas that came out of it. That said eventually I think we will see a global shift to a more resource based economy in 30-50 years from now, and possibly start to see out-put drop in the future....Do we need new films every week? New Music every week? New cars every year? I don't think we do...But an economist would say its essential out-put continues to grow.

    3. Martin Palmgren

      Thank you for your answer.

      Our absolute biggest problem is population growth, creating an ever increasing competition for the resources the planet can provide. While the market loves scarcity it stands in bright contrast with human and biological interests.

      I have given this many years of thought, and I am sorry to say I can not see a realistic and plausible transformation of our economic thinking to prioritize these values.
      It's like a smoker that won't quit until the heart attack. I just hope the first one isn't lethal.

      Money and economics are just systems, plain illusions based on some agreement of value. I would consider it insane to base the future of mankind on such loose assumptions. The ecological system is the only solid ground we can build on and we are a deeply integrated part of it.

      We can never expect politicians courageous enough to handle neither the population problem nor the economic – biologic conflict in an effective way. An eventual shift in values has to come from below, from the people. Thinking out loud, our best chance is if people gradually localize their lives. Taking back control over the fulfilment of essential needs and then maybe start ignoring the illusion of money. There isn't really much they can do about it if we are many. But since over population and scarcity remains I am not sure it will work anyhow.

      The global government path I think is a very
      dangerous way to choose, but it seems that's were we are heading. Decision-making thousands of miles away makes people feel very disengaged and powerless, making them so much easier to steer and control. So I am still going with the localization solution here.

      I agree more debate is desirable and I think we all should be in the discussion. But considering the economic viewpoint, and all other social structures we've created, we have too little manoeuvring space left. I think we will have to put all those structures aside to find a sustainable solution. Think beyond money, law, ownership and politics. It is extremely hard to do.
      Maybe it might be better to ask small children for ideas, before they fully develop our own biased values and beliefs.

    4. fk_censors

      Semi-smart people who have grand ideas for the rest of mankind, how novel. Population growth is a problem? As long as over half of those born pull their weight (i.e. do not become dependent on social services), economically more people is a GOOD think for society. See some countries which have had enormous population growth lately (China, India) - how are their economies evolving? How about the opposite end of the spectrum (Europe)? The population control movement is sick to its core, absolutely disgusting in its essence.

    5. Martin Palmgren

      Obviously novelty isn't a thing for all of us, and clearly you haven't read my comment through. You still can't grasp the reality that sustainability can only be based on biological factors. Money is still just a system of ours.

      As long as scarcity exists and we base our lifestyle on competition there is no way to reach sustainability. Don't for a second think people are safe just because they are wealthy, because I doubt people of today would accept to live under serfdom conditions.

      Sooner or later money will cease to exist and so will probably property rights and ownership as well. You base your whole argument from an economical viewpoint.
      The whole intent with my post was to say that we have to get beyond this viewpoint in order to find ”real” solutions, not only based on illusions and human smoke and mirrors.

      I hope you wake up soon buddy, because we are stuck already from start here.

    6. socratesuk

      Thank you for your reply!.

      The kind of localised anarchism your kind of hinting at, would possibly work. (*I think this is what Chomsky kind of hints at..... But he doesn’t want to get bogged down in deep economic arguments). I am still in the process of learning, and I think the Zeitgeist films with their hint at resource based economies is probably where humanity will eventually end up. Whether this is through a global government or through what remains of countries I don’t know? Eventually resources will become such a big issue that maybe countries will become an obsolete concept, and instead we will just see the rise of hi-tech independent cities.

      In the meantime though, it would be nice to get chatting to former Occupiers. But sadly they don’t seem to have a huge presence on the internet.

      I guess the Resource wars have already kind of started, China is currently moving into parts of Africa with various investment projects in exchange for minerals, and likewise Australasia's economic boom, is largely due to Chinese demand. But these fossil fuels and minerals wont be with us forever, and when they do eventually start to decrease and run out, I actually think it might be a great day for humanity. As countries will be forced to look to space/moon/planets or think seriously about massive recycling projects and bring in new laws that totally change how we consume and shop....This sadly is anywhere from 40 years to 80 years away. (Maybe even longer, resource figures seem to change a lot....)

      So I guess the real issue is how to we manage current capitalism in the best way possible before it comes to an end?

      Do we nationalize more companies?
      Do we promote more new start-ups?
      Do we get government to hand out more loans?
      Do we start to tax companies on how much resources they use, and how much pollution they cause?

      Or do things just carry on the way it is, until resources eventually put governments under pressure to change customs and laws, and bring in a whole new economic system?

    7. Martin Palmgren

      Thanks for your reply.

      Let me just start by saying I am also in the learning stage here.

      I think you are on the right track here. With some creativity there is a lot of things we can consider and try. Piece by piece we can approach endurance and sustainability.
      Sadly our history shows that change are very hard to achieve. Most likely we will keep on negotiating and business will go on as usual.

      We have been overshooting planetary limits since 1980 and there is no chance that can continue for very long. We only have one glass of water no matter how. We have to make up our mind and set our goals straight. Less than 40 percent of world population live under western standard conditions today. It would take four planets for everyone to reach this standard of living. Obviously that is not an option. Wich leaves us with the fact that many of us have to considerably lower our standard of living. And this is mostly not an attractive option, but I can't see any other way.

      Technology is another outpost that people lean their hope on. Truth is technology seldom solves any problem, it just eases the pain a little. With property rights and demand for profit technology will not be accessible for them who need it the most.
      Another problem is the net energy aspect. Take a solar panel (voltage) for instance. It takes over 70 years for the panel to produce the energy it took to buid it. Problem is the panel won't last for 70 years, so we are still emptying our only glass of water. We have to at least reach energy equilibrium to find sustainable technology.

      I rearly loose hope, but on this one I'm not so sure anymore. For now I lean on your positivism. Let's go explore and evaluate. Try new approaches and inpire a real change of values. Chances are we find a sustainable way for the future.


    8. fk_censors

      Nationalized money without central banking??? Dude, what have you been smoking? (And can I have some?). Central banking IS nationalized money. The opposite of what we currently have now (which is basically central planning in monetary matters) would be competing currencies operating side by side. I think we are moving there, at least with innovations such as bitcoin, and with a certain liberalization of the foreign exchange markets. I always wondered why, after central planning of economic activity was proven to cause so much poverty, and markets were liberalized, why the same thinking was not applied to monetary activity.

    9. 1concept1

      We do have competing currency's the biggest mkt on the Globe?

    10. fk_censors

      Speculation is not competition; just like selling and buying stocks in a steel mill and a tablet maker does not mean the steel mill and the tablet maker are competing against each other...

    11. Martin Palmgren

      Dude, I would be glad to have something to smoke. Looking at the world from a sober perspective is far from comfortable.

      You are dead wrong here. Today’s central banking is the opposite to nationalized money. I hope you know the history of the Federal reserve. If not, G. Edward Griffin has wrote a book about it, called ”the creature from Jekyll island”. Governments have no influence over central banks any longer.

      You also have to educate yourself a bit about how money comes into existence to fully understand this. The bulk of money today is issued by banks in the form of credits. With every credit comes a debt in the form of interest. This interest can theoretically only be paid by taking on new credits. This creates a closed loop were we are continuously dependent on more credits, which in its turn creates the need for continuous growth.

      As many of these things are interconnected it is a far to long discussion to have here, but the principles are actually very simple.

      We have to get away from a system where nations have to loan money and pay interest to private hands. This creates inflation and even more demand for economic growth to
      cover for that inflation.

      What I mean by nationalized money is that every state or nation owns the right to issue its own money without paying interest to anyone. The money can be lent out to the citizens against interest. This interest can then be distributed back into society in the form of structural and social investments.
      This way we would have a system that doesn't create inflation and we would not be dependent on economic growth. You could call it an economic equilibrium if you want, as the value of your money will practically stay the same over time instead of decreasing in value with inflation. This is what I think we should strive for.

      We will be there sooner than later, because infinitive growth is impossible on a finite planet. The input for all growth is our natural resources. When they go sour we are done with growth for sure. Try Tim Jacksons book ”prosperity without growth to excel your understanding about this.

    12. 1concept1

      Your dead on Martin. "Making money by investing money is different then earning money. Investing money for moneys sake is masterbation. Somewhere along the line this can't be good? There should be strict regulations against banks using other peoples money for personal use? And these nekcuf credit cards; putting today's party on tomorrows backside. They gave my son a 5000.00 credit card, (at 21yrs old) of course now he has no credit. Guess what he makes strong money now. Over a life time i have built bought and sold company's with out a dime, nothing big, small stuff but self supporting. Moneys a punks dream that's why i refer to them as money punks.

    13. trade

      "Investing money for moneys sake is masterbation"

      More people have good ideas than have money to realize them. We would be nowhere without investment of idle money into developing new technology and adding new paychecks to the job market. I think your being naive.

    14. coryn

      Agreed, so you won't likely have pressurized hot water at your tap 24 hours daily without borrowed money to build a water plant and hot water heaters. Barter is terribly inefficient, so gold money originated as a medium of exchange, and as a savings medium. And it worked. At least until paper money came along, which as we all know can be very easily corrupted by dishonest men. If you have a surplus there must be a way to hold that surplus value until it is required. We have a history of barter and know it's shortcomings, but borrowed money is another beast. For example, say I have a table that works well for yard sales. My neighbor wants to use it so I say OK, but please pay me 10% of your earnings to do so. No problem to my mind, since it goes back to personal preference, some will save for tomorrow, some will spend all they have today.

      A workable money system requires honest people to administer it, and I don't think humanity is sufficiently honest yet!

  11. Bartolomeu Lança

    separatist documentary and maybe an opportunism to cash by something that is empty of content hiding the real information
    probably this guys don't read books don't see art work nor architecture
    recessions happen today for he same reason that millenniums ago even when there was no coin - only wheat or gold

  12. Judith1960

    "They believed that if we had liberalized banks they would send money to where it is most needed "
    Ya right! Apparently they thought there pocketbooks needed it the most.

  13. ChefBryn

    lobbying is the route of all evil, its fundamentally wrong.

    1. fk_censors

      Nope, it's an absolutely natural part of human behavior. Minimizing the effect of lobbying is what we should strive for (if we want less corruption) - and that cannot be done through a "stronger central authority" paradigm (i.e. more government oversight, etc).

    2. ChefBryn

      plz tell me you are joking. its a biased system due to the people with the largest pockets wins. these people get laws written for themselves and screw everyone else.

    3. fk_censors

      Exactly, because we live in the age of big government. Where it pays to lobby, because the government has a lot of power to interfere in the market on one's behalf. If the government had less power to intervene in the economy, the incentive for lobbying would not be as high - and all those resources used toward getting political favors might be used for something productive for humanity instead.

    4. a_no_n

      yeah...rape and murder are natural parts of human behavior too...doesn't mean we should do it!

  14. systems1000

    Hard work dose not necessarly make one wealthy.Especially if your working hard for someone else,while they sit in judgment as to your worth.Slavery can be hard work to.

  15. bringmeredwine

    We've got socialism where I live, some of us refer to it as "a safety net". thank God, but you pay dearly for it thru taxes. These tax deductions can massacre your pay cheque if you're already in the lowest income brackets.
    As usual, the very rich have ways around them.

  16. Shemish

    Tired of same political documentaries. Bunch of talk while we slowly degrade and nobody seems to have any clue whats going on for real.

    1. socratesuk

      So what's the solution?

    2. Martin Palmgren

      That's a fantastic response "socratesuk". As if we do not have the right to criticize if we not at the same time can provide a solution. This attitude is for sure going to crash our world. Simple logic and common sense would do just fine, and of course you have the right to find something wrong without bringing suggestions for alternatives. Just stop doing it! Cease the printing of money and let us live from hand to mouth fulfilling the few needs we have, food, water, oxygen and perhaps a roof over our heads. Modern human have a history of around 200.000 years. Money has only been here for a fraction of that time. Obviously we can prosper without economics and money.

    3. fk_censors

      How? Money is the most practical method devised to date for somewhat quantifying what our time, skills, and desires are worth. A barter economy is not as efficient, I am glad we made progress in the last 200000 years.

    4. Martin Palmgren

      How do you figure money is the most practical method, especially compared to our history??? Modern economy is very young in relation to human history. There are ancient tribes that have lived the same way for thousands of years that don’t even now the concept of money, let alone have a word for it in their vocabulary.

      Our industrial era should really be considered as a experiment gone wrong and we should try something different.
      Secondly, in my opinion, money has since long gone from being a means of payment to a tool for control of people and civilization.

  17. Harry Nutzack

    "when push comes to shove, and the "worker" is finally reduced to the "serf" whose only prospect is slow starvation, will the "elite" be surprised that we come to the realization we must "eat the rich"?" _ H. Nutzack , future cannibal

    1. oQ

      Oh that's clever...I got my pitchfork ready.

    2. kev

      Sharpening my knives right now!


    Just like in the US we need a Revolution and finally devide everything more equally and don;t let the few ruling elite take everything from us I' guess the original idea about Socialism is not that bad after all

    1. Lenny

      Personally, I'd rather live in a dog eat dog world where people who "put out" climb to the highest echelons of society. There will always be things like nepotism and discrimination, but the United States of America is the perfect example of a place where you can literally achieve almost anything you want if you are WILLING to work hard for it. Most people choose the easy way out, that's a fact. Socialism is for those people. Look at the guy in the white house. A black man with a Muslim name is our president. That's inspiring. A moderate degree of socialism is important as a safety net for the poor, but all out socialism simply caters to lazy, unmotivated and cynical people who are so obsessed with comparing themselves to others that they've given up their privilege as American citizens to strive for greatness, aka "the American Dream". I still believe in that dream and the harder I work, the close I get to realizing it.

    2. dmxi

      so,by your logic it would be possible for a society to consist of a hundred million millionaires if each would work hard enough?everyone can enroll to havard etc if they work hard enough?the mid 50's claim that socialism is for the lazy explains your chase of the american dream which in fact is a 'carrott' dangling on a stick to motivate the mule.....enjoy the fruit,if you ever reach it.

    3. Lenny

      I didn't say everyone, I said anyone. Big difference.

      And I don't know about you, but I would love to live in a society where the average Joe is a millionaire. Maybe my original post was a bit harsh, my point was that as long as America retains it's competitive capitalist spirit, the --opportunity- (and that's the key word here) will always exist.

      You're cynical about the American Dream. It's all good man, 99% of the people I know are as well. At the end of the day, it's that 1% that roll up their sleeves and go above and beyond to achieve their goals. The ones that are never satisfied with what they have and keep yearning for more. They set the bar incredibly high and they don't give up because giving up means going back to the 99%. Like it or not, that's how the world works my friend.

    4. dmxi

      i disagree but like & respect your enthusiasm & your right with "thats how the world works" but i'm working towards change...mobilizing the lazy>smirk< wishes -dmxi

    5. Lenny

      Cheers, and that's a noble cause. There's one thing that's more admirable than success in my opinion and that is empathy & altruism, putting the well being of others before yourself. No amount of money or prestige can buy that. People like you make the world a better place, so keep fighting the good fight. m/

    6. MFDoom

      You ever heard of blaming the victim? Your whole idea is under the assumption everyone gets the same chances you do. Let me guess you are a white male from a decent income house? Well try to put your ego aside for a minute and imagine being born into a family where your' mom is in a wheel-chair with not a dollar to her name, and in order to get anything you have to go looking for a job, but every time you get work your' bosses either treat you like garbage, or severely under-pay you with no hopes of a raise ever. In my life I have actually met many people like this, and one that even fits everything I said to the T, and it's that mentality of, "well I can so why can't they?" that is perpetuating this system of inequality. If you still don't believe me, go into your local jail and start saying some shit like you just did.

    7. Lenny

      Nope. I'm a minority from a blue collar community in Illinois.

    8. TheDanishViking

      "... but the United States of America is the perfect example of a place where
      you can literally achieve almost anything you want if you are WILLING
      to work hard for it"
      Well, that it is key issue right there. I agree. But I am sorry to say but your statement is actually wishful thinking. The social mobility is now HIGHER in several European countries and in Canada than it is in the US. If you are born poor in the US you will remain poor. On the contrary the US has become the perfect example of what happens when the rich become too rich and can dictate the politics. By the way- I am not a socialist, I believe in a strong government and a strong free market working together. In the US you no longer have a strong government and as a result this has started to undermine your free market.

    9. Martin Palmgren

      I think your opinions are hilariously naive. I can only take it as you are one of the very few that has succeded. I also used to believe that you can archive your goals if you put in effort and hard work. But I soon realized there were a lot of people working insanely hard and didn't get anywhere at all. Today it is not the work nor the effort that gives result, it's the cynical social game. It is all about who you know. And in the top sits the king of asskissing!

    10. fk_censors

      Dude, I was with you until your rant about the black man with a Muslim name. Not relevant to your otherwise critique of socialism, a sick ideology devised by naive minds who had no understanding of human behavior or economics, but stubbornly devout to their new religion to create genocide to impose it.

    11. a_no_n

      that's actually communism you're referring to there...Socialism is something completely different.

      Confusing Socialism with communism is exactly the same as calling Conservatism Facism.

    12. fk_censors

      Socialism is an economic system, which is sometimes implemented in democracies, and sometimes not. Communism is the political system which allows for the forced implementation of the socialist economic system, but the two are linked.

      If we get into semantics, the Nazis (National Socialists) were also socialist (they ran big state-owned companies, and believed the government should solve society's ills).

    13. a_no_n

      yeah, the Nazi's said they were democratic too...didn't get much voting done though did they?

      It's becoming a trend form right wing revisionists to try and pass the Nationalist Nazi party off as a left wing group because of their use of the word's very disingenuous!

    14. Lenny

      Considering history (slavery, segregation, etc), a black president with a Muslim name is a big deal, especially in post 9/11 America. A female president would also be a big deal (although I wouldn't personally vote for Hilary). It's called progress. You don't have to agree with everything Obama does, but that fact that he's our president shows that we've evolved our views and have become more tolerant as a people.

      I don't see the problem here.

    15. fk_censors

      On a second reading of your comment, I understand your point now, Lenny. You are saying that in the US, even a black (well, half-black, but anyway) man with a Muslim name can become president, if persistent and focused enough. That does show American society is not inherently oppressive toward those who are different. I wonder if any European society would show the same level of tolerance (imagine a half Algerian running for the presidency of oh-so-leftist France, or a bisexual man for prime minister of Russia hehe).

    16. a_no_n

      define working hard.