A patron asks: "I recently encountered a video on the internet with Dr. Cornel West discussing the ideas of socialism with Tucker Carlson on Fox News. What I found most interesting was how Tucker immediately went to the Venezuela argument to “prove” socialism doesn’t work. What I didn’t understand is why Dr. West more or less accepted that argument by failing to cite all of the European countries who embrace socialism when asked by Carlson to cite examples of where socialism works. My question to you is why aren’t we, leftists, actively citing the European states that embrace socialism as proof that it works? My understanding is that the Scandinavian countries, France and others all have active socialist parties and adopt many socialist programs. Would you say that is accurate and if so could you provide a list of countries that do qualify as socialist? "
A patron asks: "I wonder if there is any good evidence that the stagnation of worker incomes starting in the 1970's was at least one of the causes of large banks looking for ways to make money via credit default swaps and many other very risky means. My perhaps far too simplistic idea is that with the middle class losing their ability to consume as much as they had in the decades before the 1970's, large banks started looking for different ways to increase their profits other than lending/investing in businesses that created products or services for middle class consumers. And at the same time in the 1970's, our currency became a completely fiat currency, allowing the Federal Reserve to eventually provide lots of money to big corporations and banks to cover any losses from their stupidly planned investments. I realize that the really big banks would probably have come up with all their complicated and very risky ways of making money even without the decline in purchasing power of the middle class. But is there any evidence that this declining purchasing power fueled the big banks search for riskier ways to make profits, and at the same time fueled the Federal Reserve’s ridiculous program of aiming for a certain percentage of inflation each year, which has really hurt middle class purchasing power?"
A patron asks: "What is a good way to strengthen the community element when we are moving into different homes and jobs every few years? We know how important community is, but can't seem to stay in one place long enough to build a network."