Obama the Socialist

“Planning and market forces are not the essential difference between socialism and capitalism. A planned economy is not the definition of socialism, because there is planning under capitalism; the market economy happens under socialism, too. Planning and market forces are both ways of controlling economic activity.”

Deng Xiaoping

In the traditional, European views of socialism, the government takes control of major industries and attempts to run them at a profit. With industrial profits going to the state rather than capitalists, so the theory goes, they can be better purposed to serve the general welfare and create public goods. Often this is done with an eye to controlling the commanding heights of a country’s economy, so that even issues such as resource utilization, infrastructure development, and labor force issues can be controlled by the state.

Obama is not a socialist in this sense. people who claim he is are wrong and misguided. It is unfair to Obama and to our country to claim the President is a European-style socialist.


In the contemporary, Chinese view of socialism, the government acts as both a regulator to and a competitor in major industries. For instance, Xinhua is a large news bureau and a regulator of news bureau. The old Ministry of Communications both ran a large national cell phone system, and regulated portable telephony. In this way, the government can subject the economy to national control while avoiding some of the inefficiencies (such as labor protection) that come from turning workers into public servants.

Obama is a socialist in the Chinese sense.

The US government is not a regulator and a competitor in industries as diverse as insurance, banking, and automobiles. Obama is planning to deepen the government’s rule both as a regulator and competitor in health care, and some even want him to expand this into the news media. As a country, we support single family public housing projects. Just as in China, the American government (and its apologists) use vague, opaque, behind-closed-door methods to regulate and compete in our increasingly socialist economy.

These methods allow apologists for the administration to defend its policies, by simply denying that non-existant bills have non-exisstant clauses. The health care debate is one example. Obama has provided only vague guidance for the new system. Therefore, when critics of the plan note that the only way you can increase coverage and decrease costs is through rationing, bloggers and columnists call these critics liars.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics is no more honest in the United States than in China.

Many reasons are used to support our Chinese Socialism. It is important to give jobs to Michigan. Health care to the unemployed. Fight terrorism. Keep people in their homes. It is not that these aren’t valid reasons, but that using socialism with Chinese characteristics as a tool is a new & dangerous trend in American politics.

And it is happening almost without public debate, except for misguided accusations against Obama for some EuroSocialism that he surely does not hold.

Obama is a socialist with Chinese characteristics.

10 thoughts on “Obama the Socialist”

  1. Agreed.

    Obama’s critics who cry “socialist” have an impression of what’s having, but don’t have the background knowledge to be able to really describe it.

    The closest example I can think of is Franklin Roosevelt, who governed as a Christian Democrat (which was to the left of any previous American administration) and was accused of being a Communist (which was certainly not true).

  2. Great post also. I spent some of the weekend watching these ‘town hall’ meetings descend into yelling and screaming.

    As a citizen of the City of Albany, FDR’s policies have a special place in my heart, foreign and domestic. Thus, I can’t complain about Obama (although, the banking thing strikes me as stupid to a degree, but I really can’t make sense of the healthcare thing, so what do I know?).

    I do love the joker/socialism poster, as if he’s asking ‘why so srs?’ Brillant.

  3. Socialism is creeping into American society. Conservatives need to recognize it…and stop it.

    One of the most insidious forms of socialism is “insurance”.

    Insurance? …..Socialism?? How can that be?

    The insurance industry claims that insurance is just a way to spread the risk.
    But what it really is …is socialism.

    Take me. I’ve been paying fire insurance for over 30 years.
    I’ve never had a house burn down…never filed a claim.

    So I called my insurance agent and ask to know “Where’s all those premiums I’ve been sending you year after year ?”
    You know what he told me? He said his company had already given it to some guy I didn’t even know!!!
    “Who did you give it to?”
    “This guy whose house burned down.”,my agent informed me. “He went on vacation and left the stove on. The whole place burned to the ground”

    “So I should have to pay for someone else’s stupid mistake?”.

    ” I don’t think so. I want my money back.” I demanded.

    “Sorry. But That’s the way insurance works.” My agent said. “We take money from those whose houses didn’t burn down and give it to those who have had a fire.

    We take money from the young and healthy and use it to pay the old and sick.

    We take money from good drivers and give it to some guy who totaled his car while driving too fast.

    We are spreading the risk. We take money from those who don’t need it and give it to those who do. ”

    That’s socialism in a nutshell. Take from those that have and give to those who don’t???

    That’s right. Those hidden forms of socialism have slowly seeped into our society and now threaten to infect every area of our lives.

    Time to put an end to insurance. Time to end socialism

  4. Michael,

    Interesting critique of Obama from the left.

    Stephen Pampinella,

    Thanks for your kindness.

    To the extent you favor FDR, you should be worried about Obama. FDR was not a Chinese socialist, and Obama is not a Christian Democrat.

    Norris Hall,

    I think you are deeply confused over the definitions of socialism and insurance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *