Chuck Chalberg: The arc of progress

  • Article by: CHUCK CHALBERG
  • Updated: July 8, 2012 - 4:16 PM

A century of Progressivism brings us back to the original question.

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tnesleyJul. 7, 12 6:03 PM

DR. Chalberg…I believe we are at a seismic moment in history for the next election which will make a generational change in our nation. As Margret Thatcher once said, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]." This about where we are. The money to pay for the social programs must come from somewhere. Obama care is medicare on steroids, which now is roughly 20 percent of Minnesota budget. Obama care will drive this to roughly 50 percent. Then the choice comes to either significantly raise taxes, or see what gets a smaller slice of the pie (education, other social programs, the DNR, etc). Additionally, medicare pays doctors at 75 percent of the value for services rendered. Hence the “DOC FIX” bill after Obama care passed. There are no more "DOC FIX" $$$ in the bank. What impact will that have on the medical career field? These are turbulent waters we are canoeing through.

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contrarymaryJul. 7, 12 6:15 PM

From the article: "Both Belloc and Chesterton saw big government and big capitalism as coconspirators bent on keeping the common[er] in his[/her] ever more powerless place.... Both were harsh critics of monopolies, trusts and other excesses of industrial capitalism. They were defenders of private property, but not of all that passed for private enterprise. Both favored, above all, a wide distribution of property.... Belloc's thesis: "People thirst for security, and yet 'capitalism destroys security,' given that it tends to concentrate property in fewer and fewer hands.... [The] 'evil' of capitalism was not property itself; rather, it was the 'dispossession of the many by the few.'" Chesterton argued against the Insurance Act, which provided sickness and disability compensation to English workers, fearing that it was an ominous step toward a version of socialism that would wind up looking "devilishly like capitalism."

A century later, the debate about progressivism vs. capitalism--two fundamentally different ideologies in the 21st Century--is being revisited by President Obama, champion of the middle class small businessperson/worker, and Mitt Romney, champion of small government, unfettered capitalism and big tax cuts.

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tea5Jul. 7, 12 9:46 PM

Many Americans are wanting the "utopia" of the "progressive" agenda until of course when the house of cards falls down like it has in Greece and will happen in other European countries.

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alansonJul. 7, 1210:31 PM

The Progressivism of Theodore Roosevelt had no connection to the Socialism of Europe, nor its watered down cousin called Social Democracy.

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chuckdancerJul. 7, 1210:55 PM

I guess the glaring ommission I see is that the conservative is not offering any solutions to problems just intellectual postures attacking his opponent who not only offers solutions but is working with the solutions while pulling the full weight of the problems and his posturing opponents along; not an easy situation. A Romney victory represents a great victory for consevative intellectual elites and leaves Americans adrift in an ocean of pious pronouncements.

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potter101Jul. 8, 1212:32 AM

So why does this regressive attack mean that tax cuts for the rich should be paid by the poor the old and our education system. What does that have to do with smaller government.

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potter101Jul. 8, 1212:38 AM

tea5Jul. 7, 12 9:46 PM Many Americans are wanting the "utopia" of the "progressive" agenda until of course when the house of cards falls down like it has in Greece and will happen in other European countries.******************We aren't Greece their problems have nothing to do with us. Their solutions aren't our solutions. Your solution for our problem is resolved over the bleached bones of the poor and the old. And every Christian American will stand in your way to achieve your goal.

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crystalbayJul. 8, 12 1:08 AM

Chuckdancer.................I think it's a conservative's "job" to rail against change and progress. They are truly afraid and threatened by it. They display an irrational hatred of Obama and, IMO, this comes from two things: his race and 2008 campaign slogan's use of the word "change". There are times in which I actually feel sorry for those who live in such paranoia and fear but that's no excuse to behave with such vitriol and crude incivility.

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gunflint55Jul. 8, 12 1:41 AM

Teddy Roosevelt was an extraordinarily flawed human being (witness his big game slaughter) BUT he was a true genius in the classical sense of the word; overwhelmingly high IQ AND the mental energy to get things done (he was also a bit of a psychopath .. afraid of nothing). Teddy's view of Progressivism was for light to be shown upon the dark corners of society. Slums, child poverty and abuse, corporate skullduggery, all societal ills must see the light of day. Once Evil was exposed, Progressivism would cure it, mostly by creating new laws, but public funds were also used to improve the lot of the most downtrodden among us. Progressivism wasn't about Socialism, it was about allowing Capitalism to thrive in the sunshine. We need more sunshine.

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goldengoph3rJul. 8, 12 2:24 AM

Chuck, if Obama is being held up as a full-throated progressive, then progressivism is in big trouble. Corporations and banks? Bigger than ever. Taxes? Haven't been this low in 70 years. Obama has done precious little to alter these equations. Even Obama's signature "progressive" accomplishment--the healthcare bill--provides private insurers with potentially 30 million additional premiums to collect, and virtually no consequences for individuals who decline to buy insurance and don't pay the penalty. The truth is, conservatives have had it so good the last thirty years, that centrist politicians like Obama, who is right of GOP patron saint Ronald Reagan on some issues, seem "progressive" by virtue of just how radically rightward the GOP has moved.

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