[首篇作者：onlyrichme] , 2018年05月10日21:50:50
发信人: onlyrichme 信区: Sociology
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Thu May 10 21:50:50 2018, 美东)
20世纪，美国出了一位著名的保守主义经济学家熊彼特（Joseph Schumpeter）， 他认为，公有制有许多优势，而其中一个最显著的优势就是公共所有制可以产生利润。换句话说，政府在筹款时用不着提高税收。美国私有观念至上，熊彼得的观点受冷落不奇怪。
This post was updated with new polling data 3/16/09 (new material denoted by an asterisk, "*").
"Our Socialist Future," reads the cover line on the March 23, 2009, issue of theNational Review. Echoing a flurry of warnings from other conservatives, author Mark Steyn says that those who liken President Obama's program to FDR's New Deal, LBJ's Great Society, or Jimmy Carter's unnamed nationalizations are making "nickel 'n'dime comparisons. It's all those multiplied a gazillion-fold and nuclearized -- or Europeanized, which is less dramatic but ultimately more lethal."
Will this alarm -- and other expressions of concern by prominent Republicans including John Boehner, Jim DeMint, Mike Pence, Mike Huckabee and Michelle Bachmann -- resonate with the American public? Are Americans, the majority of whom still appear to support the Obama program, likely to quail at the prospect of a "Europeanization" of the land of the free that transforms it into a clone of, say, France? That depends upon which side of the American psyche you examine. For within the American soul lurks a constant tension between distaste for the government sector and suspicions about the motives and practices of the business sector, between appreciation for the benefits of free markets and desire for basic societal protections and services.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is right that we're not "European socialists" at heart. For example, the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes survey found that while 70 percent of Americans agree that it is the responsibility of the state to take care of the very poor who cannot take care of themselves, only 28 percent "completely agree." In contrast, majorities in Spain, Germany, Britain and Sweden "completely agree" with this statement, and around nine-in-ten completely or mostly agree. And while a 51 percent-majority agreed in a Pew Research poll last fall that "the government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt," 69 percent of Americans also worry that "poor people have become too dependent on government assistance programs."
In the 2007 survey, 65 percent of Americans also said they believe the government has too much control of our daily lives. However, on this question, our European counterparts agree. Similar majorities of the Germans (74 percent), French (65 percent) and British (64 percent) also believe the government has too much control.
Nor is there any question that America still loves the free market. In the 2007survey, 70 percent of Americans agreed that "most people are better off in a free-market economy, even though some people are rich and some poor." Most recently, in Pew Research Center's latest poll, released this week, fully 70 percent of the U.S. public agrees that people are better off in a country with a free market economy even if it suffers "severe ups and downs."*
So if the public remains dubious about government, how does it feel about the private sector these days? Does it agree with CNBC commentator Larry Kudlowthat Obama "is declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private-equity and venture-capital funds." Well, Kudlow may find many Americans less than raring to enlist in the forces of resistance.
Even before this fall's deluge of catastrophic collapses , from the implosions of AIG and Lehman Bros. to exposure of Bernard Madoff's $50-billion Ponzi scheme, polls found Americans increasingly restrained in their enthusiasm for business in general. In an April 2008 survey, roughly half (47 percent) viewed corporations favorably, while nearly as many had a negative opinion (45 percent). Although support for government regulation of business hasn't risen,50 percent of Americans think it is necessary to protect the public interest, compared with 38 percent who say that regulation usually does more harm than good. In fact, not only do more Americans worry that businesses are snoopinginto their personal lives (74 percent), than think government is doing so (58 percent), fully six-in-ten think that business makes too much profit, and an overwhelming 78 percent think there is too much power in the hands of large companies.
By the same token, the latest poll finds that a 54-percent majority now thinks it a good idea for the government to exert more control over the economy than it has in recent years. Even among Republicans, nearly a third (32 percent) endorses the idea of the government exerting greater control over the economy.*
What's more, while Americans are loyal defenders of the free market, it just better be their free market. Approval of free trade fell in several Western countries from 2002 to 2007, but the largest decline among the 35 countries for which comparative data are available took place in the United States. In fact, the country with the world's largest economy is the least likely among the 47 nations surveyed in 2007 to embrace global trade. (So no surprise that despite the warnings of economists about the dangers of inserting "Buy American" provisions into the stimulus package, two-thirds of Americans thought it was a good idea.)
America retained its title as the most anti-trade country in the 2008 survey. Only 53 percent (down six points from 2007) of Americans thought trade was good for their country. Compare that with the 87 percent of Germans and 82 percent of the French who have a positive view of free trade.
How about international corporations? That's not our kind of capitalism either. Just as many Americans say that multinationals are having a bad influence on the country as say they're having a good one (45 percent in each case). In fact, in the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes survey, you had to be a member of the former Eastern Bloc -- Poland (60 percent), Czech Republic (63 percent) and Slovakia (72 percent) -- to think international companies had a good impact on your country.
Many in the punditocracy have picked up the line that Obama is "more popular than his policies." Well, the reverse might now be said about government. Yes, the public may believe that government is inefficient, controlling and downright scary. But some of its programs and policies are nonetheless pretty popular.
Take, for example, government-guaranteed health insurance, a classic big-government remedy. Nearly two-thirds of Americans now favor such a program, even if paid for by increasing taxes. And while polls in recent years found the public split, usually along partisan lines, as to whether workers should be allowed to invest some of their Social Security taxes in private accounts (at least before the recent market crash), in a November Democracy Corps poll, 63 percent rated reforming Social Security to ensure that it's a safety net as more important than reforming it to allow personal savings accounts. And a tiny 6 percent in a December Kaiser/Harvard poll opted for decreasing spending on Medicare. Pew's latest poll also finds 52 percent of the public opposed to requiring even higher income people to pay more for Medicare coverage and opposing cuts in agricultural subsidies by 47 percent to 40 percent.*
Americans do overwhelmingly believe the strength of this country is mostly based on the success of American business. But most also see a sturdy role for government both in curbing the excesses of the marketplace and in providing public goods and services throughout good times and bad.
Jodie Allen and Richard Auxier are, respectively, a senior editor and researcher at the Pew Research Center.
What is democratic socialism, American-style?
By Peter Dreier Updated 5:14 PM ET, Wed October 28, 2015
Peter Dreier: Socialism is as American as apple pie; many of our most influential thinkers were socialists
Although Bernie Sanders says that U.S. needs a revolution, he is actually a reformer, not a revolutionary
Peter Dreier is professor of politics at Occidental College and author of "The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame" (Nation Books, 2012). The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN)Now that Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign is generating lots of media attention, the word "socialism" is in the news. But few Americans know what it is or what Sanders means when he describes himself as a "democratic socialist."
In the early 1900s, socialists led the movements for women's suffrage, child labor laws, consumer protection laws and the progressive income tax. In 1916, Victor Berger, a socialist congressman from Milwaukee, sponsored the first bill to create "old age pensions." The bill didn't get very far, but two decades later, in the midst of the Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt persuaded Congress to enact Social Security. Even then, some critics denounced it as un-American. But today, most Americans, even conservatives, believe that Social Security is a good idea. What had once seemed radical has become common sense.
Much of FDR's other New Deal legislation -- the minimum wage, workers' right to form unions and public works programs to create jobs for the unemployed -- was first espoused by American socialists.
Socialists were in the forefront of the civil rights movement from the founding of the NAACP in 1909 through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Socialists have long pushed for a universal health insurance plan, which helped create the momentum for stepping-stone measures such as Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s and Obamacare today.
In the 1890s, a socialist Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, wrote "The Pledge of Allegiance" and a socialist poet, Katherine Lee Bates, penned "America the Beautiful." Throughout our history, some of the nation's most influential activists and thinkers, such as Jane Addams, John Dewey, Helen Keller, W.E.B. DuBois, Albert Einstein, A. Philip Randolph, Walter Reuther, Martin Luther King, Eugene V. Debs, and Gloria Steinem, embraced democratic socialism.
King believed that America needed a "radical redistribution of economic and political power." In October 1964, he called for a "gigantic Marshall Plan" for the poor -- black and white. Two months later, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, he observed that the U.S. could learn much from Scandinavian "democratic socialism." In fact, he told his staff, "There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism."
During the Cold War, many Americans confused democratic socialism with communism. In fact, democratic socialists opposed the totalitarian governments of the Soviet Union, China and their satellites. That's because democratic socialism is about democracy -- giving ordinary people a greater voice in both politics and the workplace.
Although Sanders says that America needs a "grassroots political revolution," he is actually a reformer, not a revolutionary. His version of democratic socialism is akin to what most people around the world call "social democracy," which seeks to make capitalism more humane.
This is why Sanders says that the U.S. should learn from Sweden, Norway and Denmark -- countries with greater equality, a higher standard of living for working families, better schools, free universities, less poverty, a cleaner environment, higher voter turnout, stronger unions, universal health insurance, and a much wider safety net
Sounds anti-business? Forbes magazine ranked Denmark as the #1 country for business. The United States ranked #18.
European social democracies put greater emphasis on government enterprise, but even most Americans favor government-run police departments, fire departments, national parks, municipally-owned utilities, local subway systems and public state universities.
Socialists believe in private enterprise but think it should be subject to rules that guarantee businesses act responsibly. Banks shouldn't engage in reckless predatory lending. Energy corporations shouldn't endanger and planet and public health by emitting too much pollution. Companies should be required to guarantee that consumer products (like cars and toys) are safe and that companies pay decent wages and provide safe workplaces.
Sanders' socialism means reducing the political influence of the super rich and big corporations, increasing taxes of the wealthy to help pay for expanded public services like child care, public transit, and higher education, reducing barriers to voting, and strengthening regulations of business to require them to be more socially responsible in terms of their employees, consumers and the environment. That means a higher minimum wage, paid sick days and paid vacations, and safer workplaces.
Because the word "socialism" has been demonized, few Americans call themselves socialists or even social democrats. But public opinion polls -- including the Pew Research Center, Hart Research Associates and The New York Times/CBS -- show that a vast majority of Americans agree with what Sanders actually stands for.
For example, 74% think corporations have too much influence; 73% favor tougher regulation of Wall Street; 60% believe that "our economic system unfairly favors the wealthy;" 85% want an overhaul of our campaign finance system to reduce the influence of money in politics; 58% support breaking up big banks; 79% think the wealthy don't pay their fair share of taxes; 85% favor paid family leave; 80% of Democrats and half the public support single-payer Medicare for all; 75% of Americans (including 53% of Republicans) support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $12.50, while 63% favor a $15 minimum wage; well over 70% support workers' rights to unionize; and 92% want a society with far less income disparity.
On those matters -- both broad principles and specific policy prescriptions -- Sanders is in sync with the vast majority of Americans. There's a great deal of pent-up demand for a candidate who articulates Americans' frustrations with the status quo. That's what American socialists have been doing for over a century. Indeed, socialism is as American as apple pie.
By Gar Alperovitz and Thomas M. Hanna July 23, 2015
THE great 20th-century conservative economist Joseph Schumpeter thought the left had overlooked a major selling point in pressing the case for public — i.e., government — control over productive capital. “One of the most significant titles to superiority,” he suggested, was that public ownership produced profits, which means not having to depend on taxes to raise money.
The bulk of the left never took up Schumpeter’s argument. But in an oddly fitting twist, these days the mantra of public control in exchange for lower taxes has been embraced by a surprising quarter of the American political leadership: conservatives.
The most well-known case is Alaska. The Alaska Permanent Fund, established by a Republican governor in 1976, combines not one, but two socialist principles: public ownership and the provision of a basic income for all residents. The fund collects and invests proceeds from the extraction of oil and minerals in the state. Dividends are paid out annually to all state residents.
Texas is another example of conservative socialism in practice. Almost 150 years ago the Texas Permanent School Fund took control of roughly half of all the land and associated mineral rights still in the public domain. In 1953, coastal “submerged lands” were added after being relinquished by the federal government. Each year distributions from the fund go to support education; in 2014 alone it gave $838.7 million to state schools. Another fund, the $17.5 billion Permanent University Fund, owns more than two million acres of land, the proceeds of which help underwrite the state’s public university system.
Similar socialized funds — sometimes called sovereign wealth funds — are common in other conservative states. The Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund, with a market value of more than $7 billion accumulated from mineral extraction, is almost a direct expression of Schumpeter’s doctrine: Socialized ownership has helped to eliminate income taxes in the state.
Such “socialism, American style,” can produce odd reversals of conservative-liberal political alignments. One of the largest “socialist” enterprises in the nation is the Tennessee Valley Authority, a publicly owned company with $11 billion in sales revenue, nine million customers and 11,260 employees that produces electricity and helps manage the Tennessee River system. In 2013 President Obama proposed privatizing the T.V.A., but local Republican politicians, concerned with the prospect of higher prices for consumers and less money for their states, successfully opposed the idea.
Although state forms of public ownership have not been a major goal of the modern left, activists have begun to pick up on the idea that owning wealth in ways that benefit local communities is important. In Boulder, Colo., climate-change activists have helped win two major victories at the polls in a fight to municipalize the current utility owned by Xcel Energy. Publicly owned utilities also commonly return a portion of their profits, socialist style, to the city or county to help supplement local budgets, easing the pressure on taxpayers.
There are, in fact, already more than 2,000 publicly owned electric utilities that, along with cooperatives, supply more than 25 percent of the country’s electricity, now operating throughout the United States.
In one of the most conservative states, Nebraska, every single resident and business receives electricity from publicly owned utilities, cooperatives or public power districts. Partly as a result, Nebraskans pay one of the lowest rates for electricity in the nation.
The list goes on. More than 450 communities have also built partial or full public Internet systems, some after significant political battles. Roughly one-fifth of all hospitals are also currently publicly owned. Many cities own hotels, including Dallas — where the project was championed by the former Republican mayor Tom Leppert. Some 30 states directly invest public funds in promising start-up companies.
Moreover, contrary to conventional opinion, studies of the comparative efficiency of modern public enterprise show rough equivalency to private firms in many cases. (They aren’t perfect, of course: Many public agencies, boards and corporations that control enterprises are not fully accountable or transparent in their operations.)
With skepticism about capitalism growing among minorities and young voters, will we see more such endeavors in the future? Pendulums have a way of swinging, sometimes very sharply, when big economic tsunamis hit. It is possible that in the next big crisis, both sides might see the wisdom and practical benefits of public ownership, and embrace Joseph Schumpeter’s point even more boldly than they do today.
Gar Alperovitz is the author of “What Then Must We Do?” and a founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a community development organization, where Thomas M. Hanna is the research director.