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Obama Wants to Nationalize Banks (But It’s Not Socialism, Right?)

April 24, 2009

Dick Morris:

President Obama showed his hand this week when The New York Times wrote that he is considering converting the stock the government owns in our country’s banks from preferred stock, which it now holds, to common stock.

This seemingly insignificant change is momentous. It means that the federal government will control all of the major banks and financial institutions in the nation. It means socialism.

It’s not socialism though- he just wants the federal government to be able to control company management and policy of the banks. For their own good you know.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2009 7:51 am

    It isn’t socialism. Public ownership of things is not socialist; all this proves is that Dick Morris is aptly named.

  2. April 24, 2009 8:43 am

    Wow! Well that settles it: public ownership of banks – which would now include the right to control company policy – isn’t socialism! I stand corrected.

  3. April 24, 2009 4:02 pm

    *sigh* Let’s take your line as the standard. By your rationale, the armed forces are socialism in action; so is the police department, public roads and a whole host of other things you don’t seem to object to. Money, even.

    Socialism is, as defined under the dominant paradigm, the state of the economy under which workers are not separated from the means of production. It’s the precursor stage to the final classless, stateless stage that is communism.

    Given that the US is not a worker state, and that control, ownership and access will be exercised via government officials, to call it socialism is either ignorance or propagandism.

  4. April 25, 2009 1:23 am

    If you want to have a real conversation, I’m quite capable. Just don’t come around here sighing any more when you don’t know me from Adam.

    I don’t usually feed the trolls or smug bastards (unless they are my friends) but I’ll accept that the term “socialism” is not quite accurate. I should have used the term “Fabian Socialist”. Barack Obama, Fabian Socialist

    That said, if you want to play dueling links to wikipedia try taking a look at their “socialism” page.

    Socialism is not a concrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization, sometimes opposing each other. …. Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy.

    It is quite fair to put Obama in the socialist camp- it is however somewhat of a generic term that has no real fixed meaning.

    Whatever you call it, I can’t see how letting politicians in charge of banking in this direct way can lead to any good. Look at what they did to Fannie and Freddie. Letting politics dictate lending instead of good business sense will just give us more of the same.

  5. Lottie permalink
    April 25, 2009 7:32 pm

    It is quite fair to put Obama in the socialist camp- it is however somewhat of a generic term that has no real fixed meaning.

    So then what’s the point of tossing the word around as if it does?

    Just curious…

    • April 27, 2009 9:51 pm

      Good question Lottie. The point is: “socialist” does have a general meaning, even if it is not all that exact. A government takeover of the banking system is clearly within the bounds of what can reasonably be called a “socialist” government. Unlike government owning other “things” as commenter Mike talked about, government owning- and running- the banks is what constitutes socialist systems of government. It’s also inflammatory to some and gets them to comment on your blog. Others, like commenter Dave, think socialism is a great thing and want more of it. They’re not trying to hide or deny the fact that Obama is heading in a socialist direction; they’re welcoming it.

  6. David permalink
    April 27, 2009 1:16 pm

    Why do we need socialism? Capitalism has worked so well! The free-market has fixed the problem of 50 million men, women and children without health care coverage. Capitalism has helped fix the poverty problem. Unfettered capitalism has allowed 401k’s to positively blossom for those who are about to retire. Let’s keep the taxes low, for capitalism is successfully paying for both wars. When Bush started his little war he should have raised taxes to pay for it. But that is a vote loser.

    I understand the fear of government having too much control in things. As we have seen in the last 8 years, our government hasn’t proved to be trustworthy in so many aspects.

  7. Timmy C. permalink
    June 4, 2009 6:41 pm

    Just came across this and thought it germane to this old discussion…Some Perspective:

    http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/conor_clarke/2009/06/what_socialism_looks_like.php

    and part II
    http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/conor_clarke/2009/06/what_socialism_looks_like_part_two.php

  8. noway permalink
    August 19, 2009 8:32 am

    We all love socialism, we just don’t recognize ( or admit ) the stuff that is socialized.
    Those roads – can you imagine going to the mall following a deer path and wading across streams and arriving days after the sale was over – but then again how would you have known about the sale without the socialized mail or phone and power lines that that dirty commie bastard FDR forced on us.
    Those universities that the poor help finance so us rich kids can drink and get VD at before we supervise the stiffs.
    Now Obama wants to rescue us business types from having to think about health care for our stiffs by making them pay for it themselves and we are damned if we are going down the road to socialism – guys backoff and let the fools pay for their own care, my boat nees some work.

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