Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Monday, June 30, 2014

New York Times: Opinion: Joseph E. Stiglitz: Inequality is Not Inevitable: How to Expand Economic Opportunity For All

Wall Street

New York Times: Opinion: Joseph E. Stiglitz: Inequality is Not Inevitable

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

As I've made this point on this blog before comparing the Scandinavian economies with the United States simply does not work. You would be better off comparing Scandinavia with the small Arab states in the Persian Gulf. What do they call have in common? Small populations that are energy independent and produce enough energy for other countries as well. And in Scandinavia's case a lot of land to go with those small populations with all of that energy. To put it simply Scandinavia can afford to be very socialist with high taxes and big centralized government social insurance programs.

America is huge country that is in between two of the largest oceans in the world. With a three-thousand mile border with Canada to the North and a two-thousand mile border with Mexico in the South. We also have three-hundred and fifteen million people and are energy dependent on countries in Scandinavia and the Persian Gulf. And while we are energy dependent countries in Europe and Arabia are dependent on us for their national defense that we as American taxpayers have to pay for. We simply have more limited economic and financial resources right now to be that socialist.

Which means Americans have to do more for themselves and where government comes in is to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to obtain freedom both economic and personal. The freedom to manage their own lives without government to take care of everyone. The freedom to be an individual and not try to turn America into a collectivist socialist state. And that means having universal quality education for all students. And not sending kids to school based on whether they live. But instead based on what is the best school for them that their parents would decide. And not funding schools based on where they are located, but what they need to be successful.

Making job training and education available to all low-skilled adults whether they are currently working or not. So they can get themselves the skills that they need to get themselves a good job and live in freedom as well. And rebuilding this country with a real national infrastructure plan so all communities especially the underdeveloped ones have the resources they need to be economically attractive to business's with good jobs.

You don't close the income and success gap in America by taking from the people who are already economically successful to take care of everyone else. But instead empowering the people who need to get themselves the skills that they need so they too can be successful and make it in America on their own.

Friday, June 27, 2014

LBJ Library: Video: President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society Speech at the University of Michigan, 5/22/1964

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Whatever you think of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society speech whether you love it or hate it, or like it, or dislike it, this is one of the best and most important speeches in American history. Because it laid out a vision of what a Great Society would look like with everyone living in freedom and living out of poverty with access to a good education and being able to make a good life for themselves. That was the vision of this speech and what LBJ wanted to create for America.

The problem I have with this speech and perhaps the only problem I have with this speech is how much faith he put into government to create this society. Especially the Federal Government almost as if it not completely that the Federal Government would build this speech by itself for us. What came after this speech was the Great Society Federal social insurance system all really from the Federal Government. Instead of laying out an agenda of how can the country including government, but the people themselves and even the Federal Government together can create this society for America.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Campaign For America's Future: Opinion: Isaiah Poole: Transportation Crisis: "Republicans Looks For Hostages, Not Solution": How to Fund American Infrastructure Investment

Construction Workers

Campaign For America's Future: Opinion: Isaiah Poole: Transportation Crisis: Republicans Looking For Hostages, Not Solutions

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

One of the advantages of being able to talk about solutions and issues and offer ideas to solve those issues when you know you don't have a shot in hell in being successful is that you can offer and write any plan you want and just wing it. Why not because you know it won't pass anyway, so what do you have to lose. Which is how I'm going to focus on infrastructure investment because even though the Democratic Senate may reach some compromise before the end of this Congress. The Republican House is not interested in really passing anything right now and only interested in trying to investigate the Obama Administration.

Back in the day (and yes I'm old enough to remember this) when cooler and smarter heads were running Congress the House would pass their infrastructure bill every year with the funding to pay for it. And then send it over to the Senate which was already working on their own bill. And they would either take the House bill or add an amendment to it like something to do with how to fund the bill. Or adding new infrastructure projects to it. Because back then members of Congress especially the leadership knew the importance of infrastructure for the economy. Plus they wanted to get reelected and wanted to give their constituents reasons to reelect them. "Hey I got us this new road or bridge" etc.

Take the Tea Party out of the House of Representatives and that is how Congress would still be operating today. Either under the old Republican Leadership in the House or under Democratic Leadership. And they would work with the Senate from either party and we wouldn't have this one-trillion-dollar debt or more according to the U.S. Core of Engineers. (hardly socialist radicals) Because Congress would've kept up with the construction and repairs of our current roads, bridges, airports etc. As well as funding new projects that the country needed.

Funding infrastructure investment in America from a practical and even political point of view with a majority of the country is fairly simple. These projects are generally funded through gas taxes. If there isn't enough money in the transportation fund to pay for them. Then you can either raise those taxes. Pass a tax on oil, tax alcohol, increase tobacco taxes to pay for these projects. You can tax things that wouldn't hurt people especially alcohol and tobacco things that people don't have to have. In order to pay for the infrastructure. This would be my plan to finance infrastructure investment in a partisan climate where there's probably a better chance of watching sharks fly then for this plan to become law.

Democracy Journal: Opinion: Mike Konczal: "The Voluntarism Society Myth": The Advantages of a Public/Private Social Insurance System

Private Charity

Democracy Journal: Opinion: Mike Konczal: The Voluntarism Fantasy

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger 

I was waiting to read from Mike Konczal in his piece some call for nationalizing private charity and completely nationalizing private charity all together and giving the Federal Government complete control over the charity system in the United States. He stopped short of that and instead proposed to nationalize the retirement system and completely turning Social Security into the sole source when it comes to retirement in this country. As well as call for nationalizing Medicaid, which is another bad idea. But that is a different topic. But apparently there are even limits that the most socialist amongst us put on government.

A problem that Socialists have in America is that they are collectivists living in a very individualistic society. And they don't trust people to do the right things when it comes to their own lives. Especially from an economic point of view and charity would be one example of that. But even to a certain extent a personal point of view as it relates to their prohibitionist policies as it relates to what Americans should be able to eat and drink.

The fact is Americans donate a lot of money to charity every year. And every time there is some humanitarian crisis in the world the rest of the world tends to look at America first. And we always respond both with our government assistance. As well as our private charities stepping up and individuals either volunteering their time, or money and sometimes both to help people in need either in this country, or in another country. Private charity has worked very well in America and if anything should be expanded and encouraged even more. Not messed with by government.

Not making the argument that private charity would be a suitable replacement to public assistance. Just making the case that we need to do both. One to encourage Americans to do what they can for struggling Americans. Because there actually is a big limit to what can government can do well for the people. But there is also a limit to what Americans can do for each other especially in a struggling economy that shrunk in the last quarter. And you need government to step in and try to make up the difference.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Nation: Opinion: Katrina Vanden Heuvel: My Real Family Values

Senator Chris Dodd & President Bill Clinton

The Nation: Opinion: Katrina Vanden Heuvel: My Real Family Values

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

Wow this is not only the first post I've posted involving Katrina Vanden Heuvel, but I actually agree with probably everything she wrote in her Nation column today. She is quite a bit further to the left of me and has strong socialist or social democratic tendencies and I'm of course am a New Democrat ideologically.

But what I liked about how she wrote her column today is that she said. We meaning America "are the only developed country in the world that doesn't have paid family maternal/paternal leave". That is leave or pay for workers who take time up to take care of their newborn babies. Whether they are mothers or fathers". Well that is not completely true which she mentioned in her piece. We have the Family Medical Leave Law since 1993 and she also correctly pointed out that for workers/parents to qualify for that benefit they have to meet tough requirements and restrictions.

Katrina also said that we not only should have Family and Medical Leave making it universal for all workers. Well for me at least all workers who make under a certain amount. For high-end workers I would make that pay voluntary for the employer, but middle especially lower-end middle class workers and of course low-income workers should definitely be eligible for this benefit. But Katrina also said that employers should be required to pay their employees family leave, as well as sick leave. But she also said that employers should be paying for these benefits. Not create a new federal program to finance them.

I read The Nation everyday and no not because I tend to agree with them, but the opposite is true. I like to know what intelligent people who I tend not to agree with, or at least disagree with roughly half the time or more and what they are thinking. With The Nation especially when it comes to policies like this I'm almost automatically expecting them to propose some new federal big government program to accomplish whatever goals they are trying to accomplish. With of course some new tax or tax increase to finance it.

But today Katrina Vanden Heuvel proposed not only a new national family and medical leave proposal. Which is certainly a goal for Liberals, Progressives and Socialists even in America. But her proposal was mainstream and took a center-left approach in how to accomplish it. Which was to pass a new law requiring employers cover their employees with these benefits. Instead of proposing some new federal big government program to cover these benefits. Which is the idea that Danny Vinik proposed today in The New Republic. 

Campaign For America's Future: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren- The New Populism is a Fight For America's Values

Source: Americas Future-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren at the New Populism Conference

"Thank you, Bob Borosage and Roger Hickey for all your hard work, for inviting me here today, and for featuring my book, “A Fighting Chance.”
I wrote this book out of gratitude – gratitude to my parents who worked so hard and had so little. And gratitude for an America that gave a kid like me a fighting chance.

I’m told you’ve spent much of the day talking about populism – about the power of the people to make change in this country. This is something I believe in deeply.
In 2009, I was fighting hard for a new consumer agency that would level the playing field for families, by preventing the big banks from pushing people into loading up on credit cards and mortgages with tricks and traps. As you probably remember, the big banks hated the idea. For over a year, they spent more than $1 million dollars a day lobbying Congress to stop financial reforms.

But we were able to fight back. We were able to fight back because people like you – along with people across the country – said: we’re in this fight, too.
And because the people were with us, we won that fight.

And it matters. That little agency has been up and running for only a couple of years, but already it has forced the largest financial institutions in this country to return more than $3 billion to people they cheated. That’s how we can make government work for people!
Our uphill, against-the-odds, can’t-win battle for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wasn’t unique. In every fight to build opportunity in this country, in every fight to level the playing field, in every fight for working families, the path has been steep.

Throughout our history, powerful interests have tried to capture Washington and rig the system in their favor. From tax policy to retirement security, the voices of hard-working people get drowned out by powerful industries and well-financed front groups. Those with power fight to make sure that every rule tilts in their favor. Everyone else just gets left behind.

Just look at the big banks. They cheated American families, crashed the economy, got bailed out, and now the six biggest banks are 37 percent bigger than they were in 2008. They still swagger through Washington, blocking reforms and pushing around agencies. A kid gets caught with a few ounces of pot and goes to jail, but a big bank breaks the law on laundering drug money or manipulating currency, and no one even gets arrested. The game is rigged – and it’s not right!

But it isn’t just the big banks. Look at the choices the Federal government makes: Our college kids are getting crushed by student loan debt. We need to rebuild our roads and bridges and upgrade our power grids. We need more investment in medical research and scientific research. But instead of building a future, this country is bleeding billions of dollars in tax loopholes and subsidies that go to rich and profitable corporations. Many Fortune 500 companies, profitable companies, pay zero in taxes. Billionaires get so many tax loopholes that they pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. But they have lobbyists – and their Republican friends – to protect every loophole and every privilege. The game is rigged – and it’s not right!

Or take a look at what’s happening with trade deals.
For big corporations, trade agreement time is like Christmas morning. They can get special gifts they could never pass through Congress out in public. Because it’s a trade deal, the negotiations are secret and the big corporations can do their work behind closed doors. We’ve seen what happens here at home when our trading partners around the world are allowed to ignore workers rights and environmental rules. From what I hear, Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, telecom, big polluters, and outsourcers are all salivating at the chance to rig the upcoming trade deals in their favor.

Why are trade deals secret? I’ve heard the supporters of these deals actually say that they have to be secret because if the American people knew what was going on, they would be opposed. Think about that. Real people – people whose jobs are at stake, small business owners who don’t want to compete with overseas companies that dump their waste in rivers and hire workers for a dollar a day – those people, those people without an army of lobbyists – would be opposed. I believe that if people across this country would be opposed to a particular trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not happen.

The tilt in the playing field is everywhere. When conservatives talk about opportunity, they mean opportunities for the rich to get richer, for the powerful to get more powerful. They don’t mean opportunities for a young person facing $100,000 in student loan debt to start a life, for someone out of work to get back on his feet, for someone who worked hard all her life to retire with dignity.
The game is rigged. The rich and the powerful have lobbyists, lobbyists and lawyers and plenty of friends in Congress. Everyone else, not so much.

Now we can whine about it. We can whimper. Or we can fight back. Me? I’m fighting back.
This is a fight over economics, over privilege, over power. But deep down, this is a fight over values. Conservatives and their powerful friends will continue to be guided by their age-old principle: “I’ve got mine, the rest of you are on your own.”
But we’re guided by principle, too. It’s a simple idea: We all do better when we work together and invest in our future.

We know that the economy grows when hard-working families have the opportunity to improve their lives. We know that the country gets stronger when we invest in helping people succeed. We know that our lives improve when we care for our neighbors and help build a future not just for some of our kids – but for all of our kids.

These are progressive values. These are America’s values.
These values play out every day. These values are what we’re willing to fight for.
We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.

We believe no one should work full-time and live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage – and we’re willing to fight for it.
We believe people should retire with dignity, and that means strengthening Social Security – and we’re willing to fight for it.
We believe that a kid should have a chance to go to college without getting crushed by debt – and we’re willing to fight for it.
We believe workers have a right to come together, to bargain together and to rebuild America’s middle class – and we’re willing to fight for it.

We believe in equal pay for equal work – and we’re willing to fight for it.
We believe equal means equal, and that’s true in the workplace and in marriage, true for all our families – and we’re winning that fight right now.
We – the people – decide the future of this country.
These are our shared values. And we are willing to fight for them.
This is our fight!"

The New Democrat

Seems to me at least that today's Progressives need a New Populism because the old FDR progressive wing of the Democratic Party seems to be dying off and disappearing and even moving left of the FDR/LBJ progressive wing of the party. And instead of being that mainstream progressive wing instead is doing all it can t live up to the negative Democratic stereotypes of being against everything that a solid of majority of Americans support. And being in favor of a lot of things that a solid of majority of Americans opposed.

During the FDR and LBJ years President Roosevelt and President Johnson didn't seek to end American capitalism and create some type of socialist superstate. Or eliminate personal responsibility, or seek to end law enforcement and our military. The opposite was true and they were in favor of all of those things. What they wanted however was for freedom economic and otherwise at least in Lyndon Johnson's case to work for all Americans. And for none of us to have to live in poverty. Or live without personal freedom, but have a real shot at making it in American and living in freedom.

Today's so-called Progressives want to go further than the means-tested safety net. And create a society where all Americans regardless of income would live off of the central state. Instead of having the independence to take care of ourselves even if we can. Which is why the Dennis Kucinich's, Ralph Nader's and in 2016 Bernie Sanders never have any shot at winning the Democratic nomination for president because they want to create a Federal Government so big that most Americans wouldn't be willing to pay for it.

What the progressive movement in America needs is for the real Progressives to stand up and reclaim that FDR/LBJ vision of progressivism and America. That is not about using government to replace freedom, capitalism and personal responsibility. But say we believe that government can be used as one tool that could help Americans achieve all of those things for themselves. Not run their lives for them, but to see that all Americans have the opportunity to live well in America.

They get back to that and someone like a Elizabeth Warren could win the Democratic nomination for president and even be elected president. Because Americans would see that Democrat as not someone who wants government to run our lives for us. But use government as a tool to help people who are struggling to be able to make it on their own in America. And someone like that could do very well politically in this country.
Americas Future: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren- At The New Populism Conference

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Washington Monthly: Opinion: Moshe Z. Marvit: A Liberal's Call to Real Liberty

New Deal President 

The Washington Monthly: Opinion: Moshe Z. Marvit: a Progressive's Call to Real Liberty

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

So President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms were a Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, civil liberties and Freedom from Want. Hum that is very interesting especially since The Roosevelt Administration essentially inspired the George W. Bush Administration in their call for reduced liberty for more security with the Patriot Act, government spying, indefinite detention and you can go down the line. But compared to locking up ethnic German, Italian and Japanese-Americans during World War II. Because the Roosevelt Administration believed these Americans were loyal to their mother countries. Germany, Italy and Japan the countries we fought during World War II. The Bush's look mainstream.

I could write a whole blog on why President Franklin Roosevelt wasn't a liberal. Simply based on his big government superstate beliefs when it came to civil liberties and the personal affairs of Americans. He also had a tendency to believe that Congress wasn't much more than an annoyance and that he didn't need them to make decisions on his own and went around them as often as he could get away with it. The Senate stopped him at least temporarily with the court-packing scheme.

As far as Freedom from Want. What do you mean by that? The freedom to not have to make your own decisions and manage your own affairs? The freedom to not earn a good living and be economic independent because Uncle Sam is going to take care of you for you with high taxes and a boat load of welfare programs? A big part of being a free American is the Right of Self-Determination. The ability for one to chart their own course in life and make the best of their life that they can. Since they are responsible for the good and bad that happens in their lives.

Forget about the Four Freedoms and then just look at the U.S. Constitution. Because that is really all we need to be able to live well in America just as long as the Constitution is enforced properly by government and enforced equally as well. And then I would add just one more that which would be the right to a good education however you want to phrase that. Because no one is free unless they have the education and tools they need to be able to govern themselves well and aren't hurting innocent people.

The only free society is an educated society. Once you have an educated society you at the very least have the potential to create a free society if you are not already free. Because you have the people that you need to build that economy that expands economic freedom for everyone. Individuals managing their own economic and personal affairs with everyone contributing to that. With the personal freedom and civil liberties as well that are also needed to live in that free society. 

The Nation: Opinion: Robert Borosage: Time to Stand up For a More Perfect Union

The Nation: Opinion: Robert Borosage: Time to Stand Up For a More Perfect Union

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I didn't see much from Robert Borosage about as far as how to build this movement to "build that more perfect union". And what exactly what that would look like and what policies should be developed to make that happen. So what I'm going to do as a Liberal and not as a Socialist or Progressive is layout what a more perfect union would look like in a liberal democratic society like America.

One of the areas that liberal New Democrats and I'm one of them disagree with the old FDR Progressives and today's Bernie Sanders Socialists is what should be the goal and role for government in Americans when it comes to the quality of Americans lives. Lets say today's Progressives or Socialists (to be more accurate) believe in equality and that government should be so big and having so much authority to take care of people and make sure that no one has too little or too much.

Liberals believe in freedom pure and simple that an educated society is a free and developed society. Because an educated society has the tools that they need to live well and live in freedom. As the great libertarian Economist Milton Friedman said "you can't have equality without freedom". That for people to get everything that they can have succeed as much as possible they have to be free. And you become free by having a good education with the tools that allow for you to get that good job and the ability to make the decisions that you need to make to live well.

Today's Progressives or Socialists would say that "freedom is risky or dangerous. And when you allow for people to have so much freedom over their own lives you give them the freedom to make mistakes that we as a society as a whole will end up having to pay for down the road. So what you need is government that is so big that it keeps people at the top who live in freedom from having so much and takes a lot of their freedom away in the form of money to take care of everyone else".

And this is really the two competing visions in the Democratic Party right now and not just as it relates to the economy, but personal affairs as well. The differences between freedom and individual decision-making from the JFK/Bill Clinton New Democrats. Versus the Bernie Sanders socialist wing of the party that trusts government over people and business's and puts their faith in government to make the best decisions for everyone involved.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TruthOut: Opinion: CJ Polychroniou: The Future of the American Left and Authoritarian Rule

I hate it when people regardless of their political affiliation regard the American Left as the Left. Because the Left in America is not just one, but several different political factions with different political philosophies who are yes on the Left-Wing, but differ from each other. On the Left you have Liberals such as myself on the Center-Left. Then move a little further you have Franklin Roosevelt New Deal Progressives. And then you go to the Far-Left and you have Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats. Who are democratic in nature but have a very large role for the central government in the economy similar to Scandinavia. And would like to see America adapt their political systems and form of government as well.
So talking about the future of the Left as if it is one united faction that looks at most of the issues the same way is like looking at the future of three football teams each having different players and coaches and philosophies that are all different from each other as if they are all part of the same team. It simply doesn’t work, but what can you do is talk about the future of liberalism, progressivism and socialism in America and see where those political factions are headed. And where they are strong and weakness’s of each philosophy and its members. Which is what I’m interested in as a Liberal especially since America is moving in a liberal direction and now wanting both a great deal of personal and economic freedom.
Americans who want both economic and personal freedom, but who don’t quite see themselves as Libertarians people who want government out of the economy all together. But just don’t want government trying to run their lives for them from either an economic or personal perspective is good news for Liberals and Liberal Democrats.
This is bad news for Democrats who have both paternalistic leanings as they relate to both economic and and personal issues. The so-called progressive nanny-statists in the Democratic Party and outside of the Democratic Party the Mike Bloomberg supporters. As well as bad news for those on the Right nanny-statists when it comes to homosexuality, gambling and marijuana. It is also bad news for security hawks who may not be that far to the Left or Right, but have big government leanings when it comes to privacy and the War on Terror. People like Joe Lieberman and unfortunately even to a certain extent Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The future of liberal Leftists or the liberal Left is very good because that is where the country is moving. Americans who are not anti-government, but do not want government to try to run our lives for us. Just protect us from predators who would harm us. And help out the less-fortunate and empower them to be able to take care of themselves.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Daily Beast: Opinion: John McWharter: America is Coming to Terms With its Racial Past- Let's Look Ahead Instead

When it comes to reparations for African-Americans I have one which I believe obvious yet important question that comes to mind. Yet even though it is obvious the people who are in the pro-reparations group regardless of race do not seem to understand or have thought about. Where would reparations stop?
If you are familiar with American history and I love America as much as any other American, but perhaps for different reasons. But if you are familiar with American history you know that America has a history of abusing races and ethnicities of people starting with American-Indians. Then moving on to Africans with the African slave trade. Denying women the right to vote simply because of their gender. Go up to World War II with the concentration camps for Japanese as well as German and Italian-Americans. Because of some sick belief that these Americans were loyal to their mother countries the same countries that we fought in World War II.
And even if you are able to answer that question I have another one for you. Which gets to punishing people by taking their money and not just British or Caucasian Americans for what happened to Africans during slavery. But the country as a whole including successful and even wealthy African-Americans for what happened to their ancestors. Taking money from Americans from all races and ethnicities to give to let’s say less-fortunate African-Americans who people in the pro-reparations camp believe are still suffering from slavery.
But for anyone who thinks I’m going too negative here I have a solution to empower the less-fortunate in America including poor African-Americans, but that would benefit millions of Americans of all races. A 21st Century Infrastructure and Reinvestment Bank that would provide educational and job training opportunities for Americans of all races who need this. As well as rebuilding and building strong communities especially for Americans who’ve been left behind in our economy.
The way for the less-fortunate or people in general to succeed in America regardless of their race is to have the tools and opportunities to succeed. That starts with a good education as they are growing up. But for adults who didn’t have that, or didn’t take advantage of that growing up empowering them to finish their education so they can succeed in life. Not punishing Americans for the sins of their ancestors. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

AlterNet: Opinion: Robert Reich: "The Crisis of American Capitalism": Liberal Capitalism vs. Social Capitalism

There are a lot of so-called Progressives in America who are really are what would be called Social Democrats or Socialists in Canada or Europe that argue that “Canada and Europe does it better economically than America. So America should move to Canada or Europe”. That is transform our economic system that looks more Canadian or European becoming more socialist. With a large welfare or superstate there to take care of everyone regardless of income level. 
Well at risk of stating the obvious even if you get past the social and cultural differences between Americans and Europeans and Canadians what works in one country doesn’t automatically work in another country. If you get past the fact that Americans tend to be individualistic (not including our Progressives) and want the freedom to take care of ourselves. And that Canadians and Europeans tend to be collectivist and like big government taking care of them. Or the fact that total population of Canada and Scandinavia is roughly sixty-five-million people over six countries. And they all produce the natural resources of large countries and are all energy independent. And that America is a country of three-hundred and ten-million people and still imports oil and gas. The fact is Canada and Scandinavia can afford to be much more socialist because they have the resources to do so and the people who want it. 
Its not that American capitalism or what I call liberal capitalism doesn’t work. It is the fact that we’ve moved away from what works for us economically. Which is a strong education and infrastructure system and stopped investing in the things that work in education. And keep funding the things that do not work. Like forcing kids to go to school based on where they live instead of what is the best school for them. With the parents having the freedom to make that decision for them. Small energy independent countries can afford to be socialist especially if their people want that. But large countries that get a lot of energy resources from other countries have to rely on their people to take care of themselves. Which means they have to have the skills to be able to do that. And schools need to give them the opportunity to have that and have the resources to make that happen. With a modern solid infrastructure system that empower everyone to be able to get around the country in a safe and timely manner. 
There is no such thing as “free public services”. If government is providing services for the people than the taxpayers are paying for those services. So the question is how best for people to get the services that they need to live well. And for me that means having an educated country with the resources to take care of themselves and live in freedom. Which benefits everyone and keeps the cost of government down.