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Uncle Jay Explains: April 13, 2009

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Uncle Jay Explains: April 13, 2009

Socialism!  You’re wrong if you think this word has anything to do with Facebook.  Uncle Jay explains what socialism is, why it’s been in the news lately, and what to do if you get any on you.

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53 Responses to “Uncle Jay Explains: April 13, 2009”

  1. Lynda Larkin Says:

    Uncle Jay,
    Love it when you tell it like it is!
    The pictures of the folks who are assuming Uncle Karl’s role were awesome! By the way, the red and green shirts were wonderful! The colors made me think about Christmas….but both my Mommy and Daddy have been sent home from work, cause no one is buying big boats anymore, so I may not get anything for Christmas. Do you think one of those nice men in the pictures could help? Please tell them about me and my little brother and our doggy and kitty.
    My little brother and I really like your news. Thanks Uncle Jay, Lynda/Pt. St. John, Fl.
    PS. Mommy said it will be sad around here when the people, who put the rocket in the sky, are sent home, too.

  2. Goldie O'Keefe Says:

    I think i understand ….. when it comes to providing US citizens with affordable health care they call it socialism.

    When it comes to keeping the banks afloat, they call it a bailout. Not a socialistic bailout, not a capitalistic bailout, nope just a bailout.

  3. Robert O Says:

    Hi Oncle Jay:
    Captalism is OK if people arnn’t greedy (hmmmmm). Socialism is OK if people don’t take advantage (hmmmm).

    It’s always a pleasure to add to the existing confusion.
    comrade Robert

  4. Diana Says:


  5. James 'Red State' Casteel Says:

    Hummm… I think Uncle Jay plays in left field. No donation this month (and maybe not next) for UJ.

  6. Dee Says:

    I loved it Uncle Jay! Thank you for shedding some un-filtered light on the subject. I’ve never quite understood why people think the way Canada does healthcare would be better than the way we do it since all those nice Canadiens come down here when they’re really sick. Hmmm.

  7. B. Turner Says:

    why did you change your shirt 3 times ?

  8. Charlie M Says:

    Terrific lesson this week and am studying for the final exam. When is the final BTW and will it be multiple choice? Looking forward to the 4 hours credit and the FREE college tuition and the FREE health care when we get Socialism………………

  9. Diane Says:

    Uncle Jay……….

    Whewwww. I almost understood that !! ;)

    Keep on educatin’, my brother…

    We love you in California !

    **hugs, and a big kiss**


  10. Mike Says:

    Maybe if we drag out this socialistic experiment for 7 years it will balance out the capitalistic experiment that got us into the mess we’re in.

  11. Lil' Dan Says:

    Dear Uncle Jay,
    I noticed as you told the boys and girls about socialism, you failed to point out that the congresspeople and senators already willhave national health care when they get out of office…. isn’t this also socialism? And what about Social Security… iguess that should go to…. it’s socialistic, right, Uncle?

  12. Keiki Kane Says:

    Dear Uncle Jay,
    I guess I am confused about socialism… when the congress and senate get free health care and dental and vision and viagra for life after serving 1 term….that socialism? Or is it because Congress doesn’t like to share the toys we brought to the party?
    And if we are going to get rid of all the nasty socialism( they taught us all about it in school….ewwwwww)… then we should get rid of social security, too…. and take Roosevelt off the money…. he was the worst of all the socialists. That’s why we voted for him only 4 times…
    Thank you for helping me on this, because my grandparents thought the sun rose on F.D.R… I never knew they were pinko and commie, …..until now….but it does explain why Grandmaw made cornbread in the shape of a hammer and sickle….

  13. Richard M Mu Says:

    It is clear now.

    by the way, uncle jay,why you looked a little pale this week? take care for your body while helping us understand the news.

  14. plusaf Says:

    well, from the other replies, it looks like you need to use shorter, simpler words to explain the difference to some folks.

    i really like the intro clips, too. much nicer.

    boy, are those other commenters going to be surprised when they take delivery of everything socialism has in store for them!


  15. Caroline Says:

    I still don’t get it! Will we be tested on this?

  16. egc52556 Says:

    soCIALISm — government for softies?

    Seriously, comedians everywhere are looking for something to make Obama look funny, and somehow the only thing they’ve latched onto this meme of Obama = Socialism. Look kids, if you really want to go back to the 8 years of government we suffered under the Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld axis of evil (B/C/R/aoe) then you are OOYM (Out Of Your Minds). If you can remember as far back as January, back before Obama took office, the B/C/R/aoe was the same government that LED us to the economic and environmental toilet we are in now.

    Nevertheless, Uncle Jay is the first thing I look for on the Internets every Monday morning. You go, Jay!

  17. Bon 27 Says:

    Mike it was not Captalism that got us into this mess. It was the socialism practiced by Barney Frank Chris Dodd and Clinton who began forcing banks to make loans to people who could not afford them.
    When that happens the banks go broke and when crooked politicians and CEOs get in on the deal, its catastrophic. Even a child of 10 could figure that out, yet Washington can’t.

    When we are over supplied with food, buying food stops, when we are over flowing with homes building homes stops. This is so simple.

  18. Robert Says:

    Dear Uncle Rush,

    I mean Uncle Jay, Excellent posting this week. When will folks wake up and smell the socialist agenda the DemoRats have in store for them. If you think everyone will be equal in society and get the same treatment just remember how equal everyone was in the USSR or in Cuba today. (The government pretends to pay me and I pretend to work)

  19. European Says:

    It seems like none of you know really what socialism is beyond what propaganda you’ve been force fed with.

    Socialism is just a scare word to americans who don’t understand economics and have turned their own economic views into a something like a fundamentalist religion that cannot be questioned, much like islamic fundamentalism.

    It’s pretty funny, well except for those millions of people getting crushed underneath the joke. Something else thats funny is that america was alot more socialist back in the 40s, 50s and 60s and that was when america was a real powerhouse of the world, you built roads, schools and you had way more taxes and regulations on the rich.

    Then you got rid of of all that stuff byw hich you built the american nation suprise! We’re reaping the benefits again! Another great depression might be around the corner and the people in charge of it are blaming socialism as a concept for it. Despite it having no effect whatsoever on american economics for decades now.

    This is the result of your own hubris and black/white look of the world. Yet you won’t admit it and you lash out at others for your own mistakes like children.

    Although I forgive you for most of it, because you got the 2nd amendment and that’s f****** great.

  20. alan Says:

    Uncle Jay Rocks. I am glad you explained this to me Uncle Jay. Now I understand what is happening in America. I can not be expected to take responsibility for my actions as it must be someone else’s fault, especially the government. The infantizing of America is at hand.

  21. Jeremy Says:

    Nice job Uncle Jay. From reading the previous posts, it looks like I’m the only one who caught the “Cialis” sign you put up. Seems like Congress has been buying a lot of it, and it makes me wonder, just how much stimulus can you buy with $11 Trillion?
    I also notice some friendly and not-so-friendly banter on this board with regard to political lean. Fortunately, we have these things called “books”. People can read these books and get an idea of what kind of political and economic systems have worked throughout the course of history and which have not.

  22. Harrison Wiener Says:


  23. Stan Ash Says:

    I think this episode should be seen by all elected officials, pundits and the silly men and women who report the news.
    I’ve never had the two economic systems explained so clearly.

  24. john wish Says:

    Seems the right wing politicos take over this week’s script. You imply we have lemonade capitalism throughout our society.

    The USA has BOTH socialism and capitalism: socialism for the rich (defense contractors like halliburton and auto companies like GM and Chrysler, and heartless capitalism for the poor and middle class. No medical care for the unemployed nor workers in small business.

  25. Bob Says:

    … means tested happiness allocation … so there IS going to be a test … gotta go study!

  26. Ron Ron Says:

    We should have more socialism. It has worked so well everywhere else.

  27. Mike Says:

    Well if socialism really is like LimeWire then I am all for it. I’ve saved over a thousand dollars using it.

  28. Lynda L. Says:

    Wow Uncle Jay,
    I just read what some of the other kids are thinking about this weeks news. This isn’t a right or left thing. This is how stupid ALL OF THEM, in D.C., think us kids are. All those people who have been, or are at this time, in charge of the hen house are eating all our chickens! I think those people that my Mom and Dad voted for, (over the last few years) think this is the end of line and that they need to cheat as many tax payers as they can, while there is still a little money out there to grab…..(or at least 98% of them do?!?!!)
    What do you think?

  29. Mel Says:

    Loved the use of the small “i” in socialism and the large “I” in capitalism. You keep us on our toes. Keep up the good work.

  30. Nancy Says:

    From the looks of the comments this week, it seems like lots of kids still don’t get it. I think your word next week should be Darwinism. You are brave, glad you’re on it.

  31. tundraJEM Says:

    I appreciate the delineation between capitalism and socialism, but I am still confused about where facism fits into all of this? Communism is different than Socialism, which would mean that Facism is somehow different as well. As everyone is screaming that it is the fault of either socialism or capitalism, where does facism play a part?

  32. Sheik Yerbouti Says:

    Way to clear the air, Uncle Jay! It’s never the fault of the people in charge; it’s the *system*! Never mind that we keep voting for wolves who play us for fools along party lines and who all seem to be working together in the end.

    We wouldn’t be *half* so worried about what Obama might do if Bush hadn’t paved the way.

  33. anisete Says:

    Once again, Americans get it all wrong about anything outside their borders or ken. … first of all Karl Marx proposed communism, not socialism, a different thing from what is suggested here. Secondly, we are all experiencing how well unbridled and unregulated capitalism worked out. Finally, many countries that Americans consider “socialist” are nothing of the kind but have a balance between profit and solidarity. Why not keep an open mind, see what works for the majority of people (not just Wall Street fat cats), and avoid knee jerk reactions to words that express concepts much more complex than this ludicrous simplification? Too bad, I used to think Uncle Jay was funny….

  34. Karen Says:

    Uncle Jay,

    Thanks for all the help you give so we can understand the news. Still, I have to wonder (it’s a slow day), why you so often wear a brown shirt. Did you know that people who prefer brown are often conventional and orderly? If that’s the underlying message you are communicating you might scare away the kids who like to make mischief and create havoc. They won’t like you (and that may be the good news).

    Some shades of brown create a warm, comfortable feeling of wholesomeness, naturalness and dependability. That’s REALLY you!

    The negative meaning of brown can be a repressed personality or a lazy person. Now that could mean you are wearing brown to entice those rascals by tricking them into thinking you yourself are just acting out due to a poor self-image and bad work ethic.

    Or, since brown is the color of the earth and is associated with the material side of life, they might listen to your lessons because they think you’re one of them.

    Brown Energy is what you’ve got.
    Brown can mix into many surroundings. It is a mixture of red, blue and yellow and has many shades and tones – each producing a different effect.
    Brown can be a stabilizing color. The red in brown gives it practical energy. That’s you, very practical.

    The yellow and blue in brown add mental focus energies. Again, you – MENTALLY FOCUSED!

    Too much brown can make a dull effect. Brown gives a feeling of solidity, and allows one to stay in the background, unnoticed. Wouldn’t THEY just love that?

    This all tells me that you should be wearing more YELLOW! The shade of yellow determines the meaning. Pure, bright and sunny yellow is the easiest color to see. People who are blind to other colors can usually see yellow. Yellow is full of creative and intellectual energy. Always use yellow note pads. You could switch to yellow stickie notes on your world map.

    Yellow symbolizes wisdom. Yellow means joy and happiness. People of high intellect favor yellow.

  35. Chris Garner Says:

    This was a five star episode for sure. LOVED the shirt changes.

  36. TrueCardinal Says:

    Nice explanation for socialism Uncle jay. You never cease to amaze me.

  37. Phil Says:

    Uncle Jay,
    I loved your post as I always do. Though I may not always agree with you, I find your posts entertaining and I love to hear other people express their viewpoints in a way that doesn’t include screaming at the top of their lungs that their way is the only way. I particularly enjoyed this post and I enjoy your even handedness (As evidenced by the multitude on the right and the left who thought you were taking the other side).
    For those who are thinking of not donating or supporting Uncle Jay just because you think he may have said something you disagree with: you should probably not take yourselves so seriously. I am glad you feel so passionate about your political positions. I encourage you to put pressure on your elected officials to make sure they are representing you in the way that you would like, but don’t stop watching/supporting something so entertaining and enjoyable as this just because you disagree with Uncle Jay. That would make you as narrow-minded as you claim the “other side” is (Right or left: you have more in common than you would ever admit. Isn’t it funny that we always point fingers at just one other side as though there really are only two ways of looking at anything, and never even attempt to understand another person’s way of thinking?).
    Anyhow, I just wanted to say “thanks” to Uncle Jay for always having something interesting to consider and “don’t take yourself so seriously” to most everyone else.

  38. Panthers Says:

    My class liked this one almost as much as the video about Congress! Keep up the good work, keep bashing both sides! Through sarcastic humor we can actually learn a thing or two. There are good arguments for both sides. It is a matter of perspective I guess.

  39. Bruce Says:

    It has been at least a hundred years since the USA has really experienced “unbridled and unregulated capitalism”, if ever. The companies and especially the banks of today are so tied up in thousands of pages of rules and regulations that it is more than a little inaccurate to call it either unbridled or unregulated.

  40. Barry Says:

    I understand Uncle Jay. I think some of the boys and girls are in the wrong sandbox. I believe my cat was there before them.

  41. kevin Says:

    Nice video this week uncle Jay couldn’t stop laughing.  I don’t remember from all of the school’s brain washing, but I thought Marxist made communism and not socialism.  By the way, America is a mixed economy, with some capitalism(the people own their own business) and some socialism(SOCIAL security).

  42. Helena Says:

    Well, Marx and Angels (or Engels? hm) were the fathers of communism, where the government owns everything, and everyone has equal amounts of everything, and everything is happy and joyful. In theory. Now, every country that has tried communism has failed misserably, and that is not because of the system (which is rather nice actually), but because of the human nature of greed. Oh, and Russia never was a country fit for communism, since the idea was that England should have done the revolution.

    Socialism is, in my mind at least, quite different. It’s more of a balance between being nice to each other, making sure everyone does okay, and still allow for personal profit. Was some time since I studied the various political -isms.

    And, while I know this is not something a lot of you people in the US thinks, socialism isn’t so bad. I live in a quite socialistic country, and trust me, free healthcare (sure, paid by taxes) and free university (again, paid by taxes) is very nice. Sure, high taxes might not be so fun, but it gives everyone an equal opportunity to succeed in life.

    Not only is it nice that you can still get the same treatment as a millionare even if you don’t have any money, but it also gives kids from poorer families an opportunity to go to Uni, to get an education, and to be whatever they want.

    Which, in my mind would boost the economy…

    And the fact that the economy is in a global crisis is not because of any kind of political system, really, but because of some people. Seriously. Blame socialism all you like, but the US is not socialistic, and it was you who created this mess. Sorry.

    Anyway, this was just ramblings from a country where the right wing is further to the left than the left wing is in the US.

    Oh, and keep up the good work, Uncle Jay!

  43. Mickey Says:

    Uncle Jay, you totally ROCK!

  44. James "Red State" Parker Says:

    Sorry Uncle Jay, like James “Red State” Casteel said this one was too leftist for me. Clarification: we don’t have “capitalism in America” anymore…ever since America embraced “socialized” health care, redistribution of wealth, gov-owned banks, government bailouts, and government involvement in EVERYTHING including the BCS games we started down the “road to serfdom.” And yes, you’re right, Karl Marx wasn’t the father of Socialism…he was the father of something much worse…Communism. Yea, that’s the regime responsible for the death of at least 100 million people! I love your show, but when it comes to socialism…when we as conservatives say socialism we mean socialism (especially when describing our current government).

  45. Phil G Says:

    I would agree, Uncle Jay, that it is important to learn more about socialism and the effects of government ownership. It is even more important to study our founding fathers and why they believed that private ownership was so fundamentally important. Part of private enterprise is the freedom to fail. Please don’t blame free market capitalism for the banking mess. How would you act if you went to Vegas and someone told you that you could keep your earnings but they would cover your loses. Let it ride! With institutions like Fannie Mae guaranteed by the government not to fail, banks were playing with house money – and we get to pay for it. Both companies and individuals need to have the freedom to benefit from good decisions and learn from bad ones – failing if necessary. Unfortunately we have not had a true free market in a long time.

  46. Bud Says:

    Always love your exceprts of the news.
    You probably saw this piece, but it would have been great to use in your Socialism piece from 4/13.

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

  47. PJ Says:

    Love ya, UJ! But it seems like some of the class is quibbling about the cause of the economic meltdown. Some say our capitalist system is to blame; others are saying socialism is the true culprit. It’s really a combination of BOTH. It worked like this:

    Back after the Great Depression, the government realized that the financial industry had been engaging in certain behaviors that caused the crash. So they implemented certain laws to prevent this from happening again. In the 1990s, President Clinton and members of Congress, urged on by lobbyists from the financial industry who saw the potential for making lots of money, repealed these laws. Everyone said this was a good thing that would create a new age of prosperity for the nation. It did, for awhile. But when regulations on the financial industry were removed, people began doing the same kind of “bad” business things again, so that by 2008 banks and other financial institutions were failing just like in 1929.

    Lawmakers all said they were shocked. Even Alan Greenspan said he didn’t see this coming. Greenspan believed capitalism did not need to be regulated because people would always make decisions to protect their companies and shareholders first. He did not believe that CEO’s would destroy a company in order to enrich themselves, even though it had already happened once before. Surprise!

    Capitalism did not cause the financial collapse; UNREGULATED CAPITALISM did. Capitalism must be regulated to prevent the few from benefiting at the expense of the many. People will always do this if given the chance; it’s just the way we are.

    As for Freddie and Fannie, these social programs did not cause the collapse by themselves, either. Under these programs, banks were required by law to make a certain PERCENTAGE of risky loans to the underprivileged. This percentage was a small part of industry loans. But once banks discovered they could make lots of money by bundling risky loans and selling them off to investors, they began making MILLIONS of them. Freddie and Fannie were not intended for this purpose, but people in the industry were so happy to be getting rich that they didn’t care. So a socialist program was taken over by capitalists and exploited, which was easy to do because the people who were supposed to be making sure this didn’t happen (the SEC) didn’t care either.

    It appears that lack of rules and regulations caused our economic collapse. This, boys and girls, is called LAISSEZ-FAIRE capitalism. Many people still believe this is the way we should run our country, even though it has a long history of causing these kinds of problems.

    Maybe Uncle Jay can do a segment on this. I’m sure he can explain it better!

  48. David Wall Says:

    Why is that you cannot give a true explanation of what socialism is, its strengths and weaknesses. You come across as very one sided and this is a terrible example to set for the children.

  49. Dennis Says:

    I’m neither left or right, I work at a small buisness that at one time made a little money but never provided health care. They could not find one employees could afford even with a 30/70 pay. I paid for my own health care which was expensive, but I’m a good American and don’t want to go to the emergency room for a doctor visit ( burden my fellow Americans with my problems ). I had a heart attack at age 30, no it wasn’t drug induced ( bad genes ). I countinued to pay my insurance until the bill drained all of my recources and some of my parents. My last bill was over 1,200.00 for one month( it took like 6 years to get there ). The insurance companies can not drop you because you have a heart attack but they can raise your premium every month, a set amount until you can’t pay. It was a simple choice between food, transportation or medical insurance. During this time congress, learning from other abusers of the system, voted for thier own health care and retirement funds. I was saving for a retirement. I’m sure that most will not care about this problem, because they are healthy ( thank God ), but one day one of their loved ones may be treated this way. By the way I’m not for socialised medicine, just major reforms. I would have paid everything I had left after bills to keep my insurance. If I run for congress will you vote for me? I hear they are giving away free golden papachutes.

  50. Paul Says:

    There are some very confused people out there. First, FDR was in office a very long time. People didn’t just get stupid today. But that’s what makes this worse, that people didn’t learn from the mistakes of the past.

    But the snyde comments about all the social welfare programs instituted then and since are correct. Yes, you are right. Get rid of them. None of you are more qualified than me to determine how & where I live, how much I spend and where I spend it, and definitely are NOT allowed to take my money to pay for your issues merely because you are not qualified to make your own intelligent decisions on these issues, and more.

  51. Ella Says:

    I always read your amazing website every week, its great fun and got lots of interesting information to take in and lots of interesting articles.

  52. Little Jimmy Says:

    I love how the Fannie Mae fiasco turns into an attack on the whole capitalist system. What a leap… Most people we consider to be less well off, have a running car, a tv set, and some form of shelter. How many people do you know that don’t have a car? or a tv? or a computer? Almost all of our economic failings point back to some sort of gov’t intervention. Social Security is how much in the hole? Half of our money goes to education in California and where do we rank? How long do you have to wait in a DMV line? 100 million handed out in cars for clunkers and it’s a billion dollar program – 900 million in overhead? We can’t even hand out a driver’s license efficiently and now we are going to do brain surgeries? Those of you who love socialism so much, move to Cuba or Venezuela and report back, let us know how it’s going. Send us an email from your 386 computer it took you 5 years to save up for.

  53. Uncle Jay Explains The News | Full Circle Thinker Says:

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