Communism and Socialism are NOT the SAME

October 26, 2012

There would not be many choices for someone that wanted to move to a socialist country. There are only four in the world: PRC (mainland China), Republic of Cuba, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These countries once had Communist governments but that isn’t entirely true anymore.

However, there are 189 countries (of the 193 that are members of the United Nations) that are not socialist but do have socialist programs/policies.

Socialism and communism are ideological doctrines that have many similarities as well as many differences. One point that is frequently raised to distinguish socialism from communism is that socialism generally refers to an economic system, and communism generally refers to both an economic system and a political system.

The fall of communism in the Soviet Union does not mean socialism failed. It means that the autocratic one-party system that defines communism failed.

Russia, for example, still has Social Security policies that fund health and pension programs.  With at last five years of coverage, men age 60 and women age 55 are covered for old-age pensions. Russia also offers a disability pension and a survivor pension.

To discover the details of Russia’s socialist policies, I suggest you visit this site at the U.S. Social Security Administration. In fact, the SSA has information on its site for Social Security programs/policies around the world


The GOP and Mitt Romney may want to return to industrial capitalism. Pay attention to the video to discover what that means. You may be shocked and decide that some socialist policies are necessary to protect the quality of life for most people that do not have the benefit of achieving great wealth.

As an economic system, socialism seeks to manage the economy through deliberate and collective social control. Communism, however, seeks to manage both the economy and the society by ensuring that property is owned collectively and that control over the distribution of resources is centralized to achieve both classlessness and statelessness. Under communism, all people are considered equal and are provided for equally, regardless of their contributions to the economy or to society.

Having Socialist policies does not mean a country is socialist or communist. For example, the United States is not a socialist country just because it has socialist policies such as Medicare, Obamacare or Social Security–the United States still has private ownership of property and businesses and has a multi-party political system.

In addition. although China’s Communist government adopted capitalist policies in the early 1980s and joined the World Trade Organization, a substantial part of the economy is still state-run, although there are not as many social programs as there once were and universal healthcare has been eliminated but China still has a Socialist-type foreign policy, for the most part, due to decisions made within the CCP based on consensus (majority opinion). There are eighty million members in China’s Communist Party and they vote.

To learn about China’s Socialist Policies, here’s the link at US SSA Office of Retirement and Disability Policy

In addition, in China no one in the private sector may own land (yet).  Instead, private citizens may lease land in urban areas while land in most rural areas is still owned by village collectives in conjunction with the central government and cannot be bought or sold because no one holds the title to most rural land.

Discover Dictatorship or One Party Republic

NOTE: The reason for this post is a conservative site at Right Punditry.wordpress.com where I left a comment. The response to my comment was an ignorant unreasoned emotional rant, and then I had trouble leaving reasoned comments with cited evidence and sources in response to that trollish rant. In reality, my voice was censored—a common practice among American far-right neoconservatives and fundamentalist evangelical Christians (FECs) that attempt to control the conversation with bully insults and logical fallacies. This is the second time I’ve run into this sort of conservative, political site. The first time was a Tea Party loyalist site that censored (removed) a comment I wrote that did not meet the American Tea Party’s rigid beliefs. You may not know this but 40% of the Tea Party membership are FECs. Both American neoconservatives and FECs practice the use of the noble lie to achieve political and/or religious goals as evidenced by Mitt Romney and his VP running mate during the Presidential and VP debates of the 2012 election in the US. I’ve written a number of posts focused on the debates at Lloyd Lofthouse.org and the last post in this series will appear Saturday, October 27, 2012.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China and its Rare Earths Dilemma – Part 2/2

March 21, 2012

In January 2011 (more than a year ago), Reuters reported, “China has said other countries should share the burden of mining the metals. Illegal mining practices and over-exporting rare earths have hurt China’s environment and depleted its resources.”

After the recent threat by President Obama and the West’s media coverage of China regarding rare earth metals, it appears that other countries do not want to share that burden even if they will not admit it.

As the following video points out, the US has the third largest reserves of rare earth elements. However, US companies, unable to compete and under fire from US regulators for sloppy environmental practices, shut down leaving it up to China to pollute its environment while supplying the world with rare-earth metals.

As you are discovering, this story of rare earth metals is more complex than what the media is reporting.  For example, in February, according to a recent 2012 Gallup poll, Iran was considered Americans greatest enemy with China earning second place.

In this pole, Gallop’s asked, “What one country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today?”

The results: Iran earned 32% of the vote, and China had 23% for second place followed by North Korea with 10%. Afghanistan snagged fourth place with 7%.

Gallup says, “More Americans mention China as the United States’ greatest enemy (23%) this year than at any point in the 11-year history of the question, likely reflecting at least in part Americans’ concern over China’s global economic influence. Last year, China tied North Korea for second place, but mentions of North Korea have declined, leaving China alone in second place in 2012.”

If Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted February 2-5, mirrors public opinion in the US, then why does America depend so much on China to supply rare earths for its global high-tech war on terroism?

It isn’t as if America doesn’t have its own supply of rare earth metals — the US has an ample supply, but due to harsh environmental laws that deal with pollution, it is too expensive to mine and produce these rare earths in the US and cheaper to let China do it even if it does pollute China’s environment leading to criticism from the American media and Western bloggers that use computers and smart phones that would not exist without China’s rare earths. Do you see the irony and hypocrisy here?


Is China America’s new enemy?

If you doubt that America does have an ample supply of rare earths, then read this report released by the Natural Resources Committee – US Congress on November 17, 2010.

Once all the facts are known, it appears that the US federal government does not agree with the 72 million Americans that believe China is our second greatest enemy. In fact, America’s leaders may not see China as an enemy at all but prefer that many Americans continue to feel this way. The answer why may be found in the US  Department of Defense, which has the largest slice of the US federal Budget. According to US Government Spending.com, the defense department’s slice of that pie is 24% or $ 901.4 billion US.

After all, without a boogieman to scare US citizens and give them nightmares that America has serious enemies, where is the justification to continue this massive defense spending, which may soon bankrupt America?

Return to China and its Rare Earth Dilemma – Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China and its Rare Earths Dilemma – Part 1/2

March 20, 2012

Recently, the media released a barrage of criticism on China regarding rare-earth minerals, since China produces 97 percent of the global supply of these vital metals.

This happened when President Obama said he would pressure China through the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the media mob focused on this threat while ignoring many of the facts.

For example, on March 13, 2012, the National Journal reported, “Obama Challenges China over its Hold on Critical Technology Materials.”

However, all but forgotten is what Reuters reported in January 2011, that China “slashed its export quota by 35 percent for the first half of 2011 compared with a year earlier, saying it wanted to conserve reserves and protect the environment … new environmental standard (in China), described as ‘stringent’ by an expert who helped draft the rules, would limit the amount of permissible pollutants in each liter of waste water…”

In fact, China’s tougher environmental laws designed to clean up the air, soil and water within the next decade may be the real reason behind China cutting back production of these rare metals igniting global concern and criticism regarding supply and demand. After all, how many countries, including the Untied States, are willing to pollute their environments to produce these rare earth metals?

To understand how much pollution is caused by the production of rare earths, according to How Stuff Works.com, “In recent years, rare earth metals like lithium have been imported almost exclusively from China, which was able to lower its prices enough to monopolize the industry. One of the reasons China could sell lithium so cheaply was because it widely ignored environmental safeguards during the mining process.”

In addition, while China’s critics bash China for environmental pollution, these same voices also criticize China for attempting to do something about the pollution by cutting back production of rare-earth metals and enforcing China’s laws designed to clean up the environment, which will also cause the price of rare earth to increase and pressure other countries to produce their own rare earths.

For another example, How Stuff Works.com says, “In the Bayan Obo region of China … miners removed topsoil and extracted the gold-flecked metals using acids that entered the groundwater, destroying nearby agricultural land. Even the normally tight-lipped Chinese government admitted that rare earth mining has been abused in some places.”

Why are China’s critics and the Western media along with President Obama pressuring China to resume business as usual, which means continuing to pollute its own environment?

Follow the money/profit motive, and you may find your answer. After all, rare earth minerals are vital for electronics, clean energy technology, computers, wind turbines, electric cars and the production of America’s high-tech weapons necessary in its war against global terrorism.

Continued on March 20, 2012 in China and its Rare Earth Dilemma – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 5/5

January 4, 2012

China, unlike India, has managed to contain unrest caused by such groups as the Falun Gong [cult] and the Tibetan and Islamic separatists over the objections of Western human rights activists that cannot stand how China manages these challenges.

Due to what many in the West call brutal measures, harmony and economic progress continue as planned for the vast majority of Chinese.

In addition, in rural China, “Living standards soared in the early 1980s—average incomes doubled in both the cities and the countryside, while there was a boom in both food consumption and the availability of consumer goods.” Source: Socialist Review Index.org.uk

“Growth in (China’s) peasant income, which had reached a rate of 15.2% a year from 1978 to 1984, dropped to 2.8% a year from 1986 to 1991. Some recovery occurred in the early 1990s, but stagnation of rural incomes marked the latter part of the decade.” Source: Asia Times

In fact, the last five-year plan is extending electricity to rural China and subsidizes the cost of appliances for rural villages once the electricity is turned on.

For an example of China’s continued progress, Tom Carter, one source for this post, is currently living in a small rural village in the tea-producing region of China near Hangzhou and has internet access from a village of twenty people.

I agree that India has the potential to equal or match China, but I doubt that will happen in the next few decades due to the economic long-term problems that India must overcome.

I don’t know where Manjeet Pavarti lives, but I suspect it isn’t outside of the gleaming glass and steel cites such as New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore.

People living inside these economic growth bubbles may have no idea how serious it is outside and probably don’t care or India would be dealing with these challenges as China has been doing since 1949.

India became a democracy in 1947, which means it has had more than sixty years to solve these problems, while China has had less than thirty since 1982 when the republic wrote its new constitution, took a seat at the United Nations in 1971 [replacing Taiwan] and joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

It is ironic how the West seldom hears about India’s problems but always hears about every bit of negative news that happens in China, which is often distorted.

Return to The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 4 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared on October 22, 2010 as India Falling Short


No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 5/5

September 26, 2011

In conclusion, I ask this question of the Kiers of the world.

Do we blame China’s central government when the manufacturing sector (many of the private companies in China are controlled by Western corporations) hasn’t cooperated regarding environmental laws in China designed to clean the air and water?

To cooperate would mean raising prices and Western/American consumers refuse to pay more so violations of these new environmental laws often go unpunished due to the sheer numbers of Chinese that do not want to see their source of income flow to Vietnam or another country willing to ignore environmental disasters.

Talking about Vietnam—during the Vietnam War, America sprayed a defoliant called Agent Orange, which led to generations of birth defects and health problems among Vietnam’s people and American veterans.

In fact, since I served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange, the VA added my name to the Agent Orange watch list. I read recently that two-thirds of US servicemen that served in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange are now dead.

In 1990, Time Magazine wrote, “Critics charge that the agency (CDC) and one of its senior officials, Dr. Vernon Houk, helped scuttle a $63 million study that might have determined once and for all whether U.S. troops exposed to Agent Orange suffered serious damage to their health.”

Then in 2009, Time World said,, “Agent Orange Poisons New Generations in Vietnam.”

Do we blame that on China and/or Mao too?

In addition, have we forgotten Erin Brockovich (2000) starring Julia Roberts, where she plays an unemployed single mother that becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.

Erin Brokovich was based on a true story, and recently in the news, it was revealed that another cover up may be happening with the  same company in the same location, and this is not the only time cover-ups have been attempted in the West/America by government agencies or private sector corporations.

Another example would be The Ford Pinto Conspiracy, a deliberate cover up of the danger of fires being caused by rear end collisions of its Pinto car. I had a close friend whose daughter burned up in the back seat of a Pinto after a rear end collision.  Ford fought long and hard in the courts to avoid responsibility for that failed conspiracy until a memo was leaked that revealed the facts.

The same could be said of America’s tobacco industry, which knew tobacco was addictive and caused cancer and emphysema and covered that up as long as possible until another leaked memo revealed the truth.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills up to half of its users—nearly six million people each year and tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century. My dad died ten to fifteen years early because he started smoking when he was 14. It was a horrible death.

Tobacco executives know their product causes people to suffer and die but they keep growing and selling it. How many of these executives have gone to jail?

I could probably spend a long week researching and writing about similar cover-ups in the Untied States and Europe—the ones that were caught that is. Remember Enron and how many lives were ruined?

The environmental pollution in China is a fact since China joined the World Trade Organization and allowed Western companies to manufacture products there to boost corporate profits, but all of China’s pollution since the early 1980s does not compare to the pollution from the West’s Industrial Revolution which started in the later 18th century in England, and then spread to Europe and the United States.

It is convenient for the Kiers of the world to forget two centuries of pollution in the West while blaming China for three decades of pollution and ignoring the fact that in the last few years China has emerged as the largest manufacture of alternative forms of solar and wind energy in the world, while replacing its old coal burning power plants with modern cleaner ones.

However, in the United States, not one coal burning power plant has been replaced with a modern one. The old ones are still spewing pollution into the air.

One last question — Does patriotism mean ignoring the facts and supporting lies?

Return to No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 4 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Some Rules are Meant to be Broken

September 21, 2010

Global warming, fossil fuels with an expiration date, oceans turning acidic threatening life as we know it, polluted air and water, and the U.S. slogs along burdened with rules, regulations and red tape when it comes to the environment and green energy, which is necessary if we want our civilization to survive.

In China, that challenge doesn’t exist and Western countries and the World Trade Organization burdened with bureaucratic red tape are complaining.

The New York Times with Reuters writes a piece about Global Business and headlines it On Clean Energy, China Skirts Rules.

Who cares?  If China is getting the job done and that leads to cleaner air, water and energy, I say go for it.

In fact, the U.S. and other countries should look to China as a role model in this area. 

However, considering partisan politics in the U.S. and the GOP of “NO”, America may have already lost the race.

What does that mean in a century or two?

The New York Times piece I’m talking about was written by Keith Bradsher, and it was educational. 

By the time, I finished reading the long piece, I knew why the West isn’t weaning itself off oil any time soon, while China appears to be moving fast in that direction.

Why can’t the West play the game by China’s rules?

After all, according to Sun Tzu and the Art of War, which applies to business, you do what you must to win. 

If Western countries are so rigid they can’t adapt, that means another expiration date.

Also see China’s Going Green Challenge

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Growing China’s Legal System

July 18, 2010

In October 2008, Stephen Yao, talked about the evolution of the Chinese legal System. During the Cultural Revolution, for ten years, China had no law or legal system.  Then in 1979, Deng Xiaoping initiated the “Open Market Policy”.

Law schools, the ministry of justice and legal services were started in the early 1980s.  Another milestone was in 2001, after China joined the WTO (World Trade Organization).  The economic changes were taking place faster than the legal system was developing.

In 2008, the Chinese legal system had the minimum standards as recognized by the WTO.

In the video, Stephen Yao displays a chart for China’s Legal System and explains briefly what it means.  The second slide shows China’s legal market overview and the multilayered legal structure.

Yao says that the death penalty must be referred to China’s higher court and the lower courts do not have the power to apply the death penalty.

See China Law and Justice System

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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