Sunday Quiz: Are you a damn, dirty Socialist?

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Created by the Crack Quiz Team at The Times of Chester County (Pa.), Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.

In order to help the right thinking citizens of Chester County, we wanted to offer this helpful quiz to find out if you are a victim of creeping socialism or a good upstanding American Capitalist.

For each “Yes,” give yourself one point. For each “No,” well, sorry comrade, nothing for you, because the state has it all now.

  1. Do you only drive on privately owned, toll roads?
  2. Do you send your children to privately funded (most charter schools do not qualify) schools?
  3. Do you depend entirely on private security and fire protection?
  4. Do you eschew public libraries and only purchase books?
  5. Have you renounced Social Security and will refuse to collect it upon retirement?
  6. Will you pass on Medicare and use only private health insurance for the rest of your life?
  7. Do you only use hospitals which receive no public funding?
  8. Have you hired a private security force to defend you from foreign aggression?
  9. Have you always refused to use a public park, or attend a sporting event or concert at a publicly funded venue?
  10. Have you refused to work for a company that benefits from tax breaks, subsidies or grants?
  11. Have you refused to use the public court system, insisting only on private, binding mediation?
  12. Are you not an attorney? (If yes, -5 points, sorry, comrade — your entire career is subsidized by public money).
  13. Do you pay private firms to house criminals, preventing them from being housed at public cost?
  14. Do you pay private labs to make sure pharmaceutical products are safe and effective?
  15. Do you store all of your funds in offshore accounts, refusing to use publicly guaranteed banks or credit unions?

Explanations and background of questions:

  1. Although right-thinking Americans beat back the socialist wave of the 1780s and 1790s — when government tried to build and maintain roads — privately funded toll roads and turnpikes were the most useful roads in the country until about 1850, when socialists pushed public funding of railroad right of ways and takeover of formerly private roads when they went bankrupt, due to railroad/steam boat competition.
  2. Those socialist Pilgrims ruined it for everyone by decreeing public schools in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1647. For two centuries, the colony/state/socialist haven will lead the way on public education. Other states, sheep-like, will follow suit, such as Pennsylvania.
  3. Socialists, including Benjamin Franklin, in Philadelphia started the Union Fire Company in 1736, thus forever ruining the possibility of a more capable private sector managing fire control. Boston, in that socialist haven of Massachusetts, started its first full-time public police force in 1836, forcing private companies out of business.
  4. New England stuck again here, with the first publicly funded library, in Petersburg, New Hampshire in 1833. It would be a number of years before they could lend our Das Kapital, however.
  5. That arch-villain socialist Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935, allowing old-age payments, rather than honoring the time-tested tradition of allowing old folks to die in the streets of starvation, as right-thinking Americans know is proper.
  6. In 1965, Lyndon Johnson signed the law creating Medicare and Medicaid, socializing medicine for the old and the poor, keeping them alive when natural selection and market forces, as the Good Lord intended, would not have. America has been poorer for it since.
  7. Although the first arguably public hospital opened in Philadelphia in 1751 — once again, with Franklin as a driving force — with a £2,000 grant from the Pennsylvania General Assembly, such dangerous socialist ventures were rare before 1860. After the Civil War, advances in medical science led to the establishment of dozens of public, not-for-profit hospitals. Although it has taken decades to battle back the socialism, today’s excellent, highly-affordable for-profit health care system continues to beat back challenges from the likes of Obamacare and Medicare for all.
  8. While the first Continental Congress — obviously full of socialists — refused to hire mercenaries to fight the British, who were right-thinking enough to do so, it established the United States Army in 1775, funded by tax dollars. Although it, and later armed forces such as the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Air Force, have waxed and waned over the decades, and this socialist cash grab now accounts for about 15% of the total federal government budget.
  9. The first public park in the American colonies was, sigh, again started by those Boston socialists, Boston Commons, in 1640, after an obviously rigged public vote. This ugly trend continued before before the 20th century, but only sporadically. Then through an accident of history, the radical socialist Theodore Roosevelt — distant cousin of FDR and fellow traveller — created scores of national parks, national forests and wildlife preserves, all in places where strip mining, deforestation and oil drilling would have been more right-thinking. This led to the obviously insane practice of preserving open space and preventing right-thinking capitalists from free-market economic development.
  10. Yup, tax breaks and special perks for corporations are as old as the U.S. itself, with Alexander Hamilton getting the first known tax break from New Jersey — another well-known bed of socialism — in 1791. Since World War II, they’ve grown increasingly popular, meaning many large, profitable companies pay a lower effective tax rate than the average taxpayer.
  11. Every court in the country is paid for and managed by government funds, taxpayer money. This is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and was codified the Judiciary Act of 1789, forcing all Americans to pay for judges and lawyers to, well, argue and make a lot of money off your backs. Previous solutions, involving swords, guns and or fisticuffs settled legal disputes much more swiftly without government intervention.
  12. See above. Basically all attorneys are dependent on the socialist state. Without laws and courts, they’d just be annoying people in bad suits, instead they get piles of money from the rest of us.
  13. Although publicly funded prisons have been part of the US government since about 1790 — replacing executions as the cost-effective go to punishment for most crimes, various efforts to get tough on crime have lead to some 7 million people soaking up free room and board at public expense. Although some private prison companies now exist, they are still funded by public funds, obviously, at a higher cost than simple executions.
  14. Teddy Roosevelt strikes again in 1906, just because a few (OK, thousands) of people died from ingesting contaminated, fake or dangerous cures — a bit of rugged individualism and allowing people to learn which products worked and which didn’t would have worked just fine — but socialists like TR insisted on passing the Pure Food and Drug Act, allowing government to interfere with right-thinking companies selling “dangerous” or “poisonous” products.
  15. Another wild overreaction by a socialist Roosevelt — this time, FDR. Just because a few thousand banks went under and took the entire deposits of foolish depositors, FDR and the socialists in Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to protect individuals deposits in banks, once again interfering with true capitalism.

How to score:

12-15 points: You are a right-thinking American capitalist. Also, probably a billionaire, so congratulations on that.

8-11 points: Great effort, but it’s possible that your paltry multi-millions of wealth make you overly dependent on public assistance. Be careful, friend, you are on a slippery slope toward becoming a full blown Socialist. Work harder, make more money and join your fellow true Americans!

4-7 points: Oh boy. You’re caught in the Socialist trap. To get right, you must sell off your possessions, live in a tent in the woods with no government services and live off the land (do not do this on public lands, another socialist trap). Otherwise, you are in great danger of falling into the final category.

0-3 points: Congratulations, comrade, you are a full-blown Socialist! Just like QVC (millions in state “Film” grants), Energy Transfer Partners (wait, you thought a company could build a wildly dangerous pipeline across Pennsylvania without gobs of government help?) and hundreds and hundreds of other companies in Chester County who get federal, state or county tax breaks, grants or various forms of assistance. By the way, this also accounts for roughly 99% of the population of Chester County. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to being a “red” county, right?

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One Comment

  1. Keith Knauss says:

    Unfortunately, the Team at The Times of Chester County has failed their civics course. Socialists are defined as follows:

    “Socialism is an economic theory of social organization that believes that the means of making, moving, and trading wealth should be owned or controlled by the community as a whole.”

    The means of production are largely privately owned in America so, none of the 15 questions help define whether the reader is a socialist or not. The system America operates under is capitalism. And under capitalism the means of production are privately owned, but there is also a major role for government supported services that benefit society as a whole – like roads, education, defense and healthcare.

    C’mon Mike, you can do better than this drivel.

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