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Yesterday, we posted an email from MNB reader Ray England in which he criticized a New Yorker piece by James Surowiecki referenced here as essentially promoting a Socialist Utopian agenda. (It was in yesterday's "Your Views" .)

I was a little dismissive of his email, commenting:

I don't think that Surowiecki was arguing for a Socialist Utopia, though I imagine that it is easier to demonize an argument by using such a phrase. I think he was just pointing out some structural problems with the economy as it currently exists.

Not everyone agreed with me. One MNB user wrote:

I liked Mr. England’s response, but manufacturing could not or would not have moved off shore if we had not had reverse socialism/free trade.  If our free Trade agreements supported the US way of life, we would have stipulated free trade with countries that allowed their populace to pursue some of the ideals we want for ourselves.  So if Free trade was limited to countries with certain Environmental standards and which allowed their workers the right to organize, the movement would have slowed down.  Instead we have off-shored slave wages, substandard living conditions, environmental degradation and all the associated “costs” of our cheap goods and higher corporate profits - and fewer jobs.

And another reader wrote, in part:

All this talk about fair wages, living wage, and Obama Care has me fired up.

I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican, or a Dooms Day Prepper…yet.  I’m a libertarian which basically means I find fault with both sides of our two party system or at least I trust neither.  One side is all about Big Brother, and Big Government, and the other has Abortion and Christianity as it’s litmus test for admittance.  True Conservatism would embrace all religions, but Right wingers would call that Liberalism?  Our country was founded on religious liberty not Christianity.   The fact that the Republican party has been co-opted by the Religious Right saddens me.  Which party is a fiscally conservative Jew or Hindu going to feel most welcome?  Or maybe a Mormon for that matter!

Kevin, I’m actually frightened by the direction our “leaders” are taking us as a nation.  We are rapidly approaching a tipping point in terms of debt and spending in this country that is going to come home to roost.  Like an earthquake driven tsunami this could escalate rapidly into runaway inflation.  It will be the direct result of the devaluing of our currency by The Fed through Quantitative Easing and the reckless government spending our “leaders” are so in love with to pander for our votes.  We’ve collectively become like the frog in the pot and don’t even realize it.  Don’t people get it?  Don’t they remember the Carter years? This coming financial crisis may make the Carter years feel like the Tea Cup ride at Disneyland and nobody seems to be paying attention, and our “leaders” are too spineless to do anything other than embrace ideology.  Who do you think has more twitter followers Kim Kardashian or Ben Bernake?  The point is America doesn’t care and isn’t paying attention.
In my view we do not have an expensive health care system, we have a system with too few people paying and their numbers are dropping.  Each time I hear about corporate layoffs I clutch my wallet knowing that more health care payers are being eliminated and my premiums must go up to compensate.  By placing the burden back on business as sense of ethical corporate responsibility and by taking away the financial incentive to eliminate full time jobs in favor or part time it will ensure that our current health care system is saved and simultaneously more people will be covered and paying for their own coverage.  And with more people paying in prices will drop for everyone and we will get closer to the true price of health care.
On top of all that, our tax system is a joke and is costing us money.  It’s too complex to navigate and understand and gives a differential advantage to the lobbyists of large corporations.  It's inherently unfair as it stands today.

As for those who embrace our two party system and love “their” representative because they bring home the bacon.  You are a Kardashian-viewing Frog in a pot!  Relax knowing we have the best government money can buy.
In the meantime I’m trying to figure out where to put my 401K money that is inflation proof and still create a return.  Oh and I had to Google "Kardashian" for the spelling!

I don't quite know where to begin, so let me offer just one thought. You should have used Google to find out how to spell "Bernanke."

And Ray Englander offered a response to my commentary:

I appreciate that you take the time to publish views of your readers even when they may differ from your own. I am saddened though that you chose to accuse me of demonizing Mr. Surowiecki’s  argument when I  characterized it as a Socialist Utopia. Facts are facts and in Mr. Surowiecki’s instance I believe he was indeed describing a Socialist Utopia. As I understand the phrase, as Socialist Utopia is described as an environment where revolution of a people is not necessary to bring about social change in order to end to poverty and unemployment; all that is necessary is social pressure and convincing arguments to entice those that have to voluntarily surrender what is theirs to others. In other words, I guess it is a peaceful path to societal embrace of the Marxist Golden Rule; From each according to his means, to each according to his needs. In practice, however; we all know that such a redistribution is done through government intervention. We see it more and more right here in the good ole US of A.
If a Social Utopia is not what Mr. Surowiecki was describing, I don’t know what is. Further, I believe one could argue that given Mr. Surowiecki was making his argument via a widely read periodical, that he was attempting to create social pressure in order to convince companies such as McDonalds and Walmart to voluntarily surrender capital (through increased wages) to their employees in order to help bring about the end of poverty through creating a living wage. The result of such an argument if won, places profits and capital under social  rather than personal control. Hence, a Socialist Utopia, or as that dude on Duck Dynasty says. Everybody Happy, Happy.

However, not everybody was buying what Ray England was selling.

MNB user Chuck Jolley wrote:

Ray England seems to be a big fan of Tea Party politics and their rather short-sighted view of economics.  Let me ask this question:  What happens when the majority of American workers are thrust into minimum wage jobs and are faced with a daily struggle to make ends meet?  How will they be able to afford the products big business produces?  Does he remember the Golden Age of the American economy when we had a vibrant and well-paid middle class with the purchasing power required to buy homes, cars, the niceties of every day life?  If he does, he should be reminded that the income spread between the wealthiest and the rest of us was much closer.  With most of the rise in income going to the top 2% and coming out of the pockets of the 98%, maybe it’s time to ask some questions about the evils of income redistribution – from the bottom of the economic curve to the top.  People like him have long moaned about the socialistic evils of income redistribution from the top down; time to look at it as it really is.

And from another reader:

Gee, if I wanted to read “The Conservative agenda 101” with a complete how to on a deregulated economy as our nirvana and national foundation I would just tune into faux news.
Anyone who thinks we can simplify national economic policy statements and their cause and effect into a paragraph or two is not likely  well versed enough to listen to anyway.

Thanks for wasting about 25 lines of text space on that blather from Mr. England.

One person's blather is another person's manifesto.
KC's View: