Friday, November 1, 2019

The Hypocrisy Of Our GOP "Anti-Socialists" In South Dakota

    We've institutionalized hypocrisy in South Dakota government.  The politically useful designation of "socialism" as an evil to be avoided at all costs has blinded the ultra-dominant Republicans in Pierre to the realities of life and the utter hypocrisy of their anti-socialist rhetoric.  Most recent example?  Two days ago at a legislative committee hearing in Pierre, state reps were grilling our state universities about their progress on implementing a law (HB 1087) passed earlier this year that is intended "to promote free speech and intellectual diversity" at South Dakota's public universities.  According to Sioux Falls Republican Rep Steven Haugaard, the law is needed to counter what he considers an "increasing amount of socialism on campuses nationwide."
The Republican Socialist
Producers Don't Seem Happy About It

     Haugaard's harangue has a by gum, we ain't gonna let this happen in South Dakota, no way, no how tone to it, and, considering how easily HB 1087 sailed through legislation and into law, the language sells well to South Dakota's political market.  But behind the pugnacious rhetoric, Haugaard, every Republican legislator who supported the law, and its signer Republican Governor Kristi Noem know one inescapable fact:  Our state and its economy are riddled with socialistically supported institutions and private sector endeavors.  Let's start with federal aid as a percentage of state revenues, which is typically about a third of the money that comes into state coffers.  You might say, well, our residents pay federal taxes, so some of that money should be rightfully coming back to South Dakota.  True enough, but South Dakota gets significantly more, about 15% more, than it sends to Washington, D.C.  In 2016 (latest figures I could find) that amounted to $1.4 billion, which is about $1800 per resident.  Nothing socialistic about that, right,  South Dakota Republicans?
     And then there's the bulwark of our state's economy, agriculture.  Talk about socialism, the Farm Bureau just reported that 2019 farm income, nationally, will reach $88 billion, the highest since 2014.  But, anti-socialists, get this. The Farm Bureau notes that  "nearly 40% of that income is related to trade assistance, disaster assistance, and insurance indemnities."  I can't find South Dakota-specific numbers, but considering that conditions here are similar to those in the farm belt, generally, it's reasonable to guess that our state's farmers are in the same shape as their peers across the region. With so much dependence on federal assistance,  farmers lately seem to be wards of the state.  How do South Dakota's vociferous opponents to socialism come to terms with this reality?  They can''t.  Nothing against the rationale for federal help (sans the trade assistance, which is a payoff for the disaster created by Trump's tariff war).  It makes sense.  We need farmers, period, which is more than enough reason for us to socialistically help them out as necessary.
     But in the meantime, these anti-socialists who represent us are pushing other socialist schemes.  Our elected officials are unified in supporting ethanol, which is socialistically-mandated for use because the free market needs the government to tell refiners how much they must consume.  And we just had to pay a taxpayer-funded, socialistic bounty to kill thousands of predators in order to support our pheasant-hunting industry. Our Governor's Office Of Economic Development is another example.  It offers socialistically-mandated employer-supported incentives and grants to businesses seeking to expand into South Dakota, but only if those expansion plans "would not have occurred" without assistance from GOED.  In other words, if the free market makes it impossible for your business to come here, South Dakota taxpayers will gladly give you a socialistic hand.
     Given the reality of the situation, it's hard to understand the browbeating that our socialistically-supported universities are getting.  I trust campus administrators to make sure a diversity of opinions stock their marketplace of ideas, but if there is indeed "an increasing amount of socialism on our campuses nationwide," it's probably because the amount of it is increasing across the country.  South Dakota's Republicans seem to have no  problem encouraging it.


  1. Amen, Mr. Tsitrian.

    For at least two decades South Dakota's Republican congressional delegations have been obstructing attempts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to streamline the agency as it weans support from a hatchery notorious for introducing invasive species to Black Hills watersheds and into the waters of the United States. These clowns won't support combating bulging jails and prisons but will wholeheartedly jump on the bandwagon to save a Spearditch tourist trap in a town where a Democrat could win a legislative seat unless Republicans practice a little more socialism.

    The resultant soaring median age of the retirees seeking deliverance from the cultural diversities thriving in Colorado, California, Minnesota, even Arizona and Oregon drives the exploitation of South Dakota's regressive tax structure and reinforces the racially insulated Nazi enclave that Spearditch is today. Harley owners, some of whom have ties to clubs with nefarious pasts and many of them pre-1970s graduates of Spearditch High School, cruise the streets in summer and then recuse themselves from the brutal Lawrence County winters for warmer white compounds in Sedona or Mesa.

    Kristi Noem and her other white meat supporters purport to be small-government conservatives but they're really just helping themselves instead of finding a way for communities to finance rearing for private ponds without begging the feds for more moral hazard money while pretending to be self-reliant.

  2. I swan the Republican Establishment is committing an egregious error akin to their early opposition to Social Security. A significant demographic finds the ideas put forward by the Democratic candidates, especially Senator Sanders, and his colleague from Massachusetts, to be in accord with the mainstream economics they learned in college. When the GOP labels Senator Warren a socialist that self-same group thinks, if this be socialism then bring it on.

  3. With direct deposit no one has to even go to their mail box to get the check.

  4. Why diversity in education? When was the last time Repubs came up with an idea good for the masses?

    John T for South Dakota guv!