The Democrat Party’s hard leftward ideological movement continues by the day. As Marxism and Socialism take root, its important to expose where the left wants to take the country, and the naivet of the wizards of smart driving this leftward lurch.
The quoted excerpts below, in grey, came from Ryan Cooper’s article: The Dawn of American Socialism in The Week.
“When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many Western observers concluded that the old Marxist dream was dead forever…But they spoke too soon. I have previously covered the two major schools of thought on the American left:
The Brandeisians, who would reform American capitalism with anti-trust policy and regulated competition; and
The social democrats, who would reform it by jacking up taxes to create an enormously more generous welfare state.”
Of course Bernie Sanders, who was robbed by Hillary Clinton and the DNC in the 2016 democrat primary, is the poster child for American “Democratic Socialists”.
“There is substantial overlap between these groups, and indeed they are more complementary than in direct conflict.
Socialists, by contrast, stand somewhat apart from both groups. They are united in pushing the political boundaries leftwards far beyond their current limits, either in Europe or America.
The full-throated socialists would insist on going past Denmark, and even exceeding Norway’s Socialist high-water mark.”
How far left do they intend to go? Hugo Chavez left? If further left than any European country, provide an example from elsewhere, say Venezuela?
Here’s an interesting paradox for leftists. The following facts about Norway, one of Bernie Sanders’ beloved Scandinavian countries, come from the CIA World Factbook:
- “Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway’s economic fortunes.
- Key domestic issues include immigration and integration of ethnic minorities, maintaining the country’s extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.
- The country is richly endowed with natural resources such as oil and gas, fish, forests, and minerals.
- Norway is a leading producer and the world’s second largest exporter of seafood, after China.
- The government manages the country’s petroleum resources through extensive regulation. The petroleum sector provides about 9% of jobs, 12% of GDP, 13% of the states revenue, and 37% of exports…Norway is one of the world’s leading petroleum exporters.
- To help balance the federal budget each year, the government follows a fiscal rule, which states that spending of revenues from petroleum and fund investments shall correspond to the expected real rate of return on the fund, an amount it estimates is sustainable over time.
- Electricity from Hydroelectric 88.4% of total installed capacity”
Norway owes its fortunes to energy production. The very leftists that want the US to emulate countries like Norway want to shut down American energy production due to “Global Warming.” Cooper sites Alaska as well. Once again, the state refund to Alaskan citizens comes from oil industry tax revenue. That level of production is the exception, not the norm.
“Bernie Sanders, self-identifies as a “democratic socialist,” but in practice he is much more concerned with bringing America up to the top standard of the developed world rather than leapfrogging past it. In his speeches and writings, the fact that America is the “richest country in the world” and yet fails to achieve a European standard of decency is a constant refrain. Bernie Sanders does support much public action on housing, but that does not include directly building and owning housing for the masses.”
So even far left Bernie Sanders comes up soft according to Ryan Cooper, since Sanders fails to advocate for state owned housing.
“Socialists aim higher than this. Instead of merely building out a Europe-style welfare state, they would:
- Make it the most generous on Earth.
- They would directly build and own things like housing.
- Instead of merely taxing capital, they would bring a considerable portion of the national wealth under direct democratic control.”
No mention by socialist Cooper of the fact that the US is nearly $21 Trillion in debt, and climbing. America’s current social programs apparently aren’t close to being enough.
Where is all of this new funding going to come from? He proposes getting it by annexing private wealth into the leftist hands of democrat party statists. Taking private property, a classic Marxist move, never works out well, but why let the records of human history get in the way of socialist utopian dreams.
How does he propose achieving these goals?
“Their first objective is Mass organizing, a critical task if socialists are ever going to exert real influence.”
But what would they (socialists) do with that power? Cooper proposes:
- Create an “American Medicare-for-all system paid for with progressive taxation. It would entail profound and highly disruptive reform of the system, but the money is there.
- Building out or improving state-owned enterprises. State-operated airline or rail network, which generally perform decently. European state companies have long been snatching up all sorts of British contracts, to run them for easy profits.”
“The money is there”! Deep analysis here, just trust the socialist. A common goal among socialists, Democratic Socialists, other leftist radicals, is government funded healthcare. Kill the private market, and let unanswerable bureaucrats handle your life care.
There is no more wasteful, stunted, slow and ineffective enterprise in the world than big government. Imagine how far Apple or Amazon would have gotten if they had been taken over by the federal government?
If state operated enterprises are so easy to make profits with, why is AMTRAC such a perpetual taxpayer failure? What about California’s $ Billion bullet train boondoggle!
- “A return to public housing. Socialists would attack the problem head-on by directly building them on public land. They would be open to a wide socioeconomic spectrum, and priced accordingly. Because there would be non-poor people occupying the majority of the units and paying something closer to market-rate rents, the investment would pay for itself indeed, in tighter rental markets it would quickly become a huge revenue source. Fourth, it would take some pressure off the private market, and help keep rents down there as well.”
- “Now what about the heart of capitalism, private companies? An evolution of the traditional socialist priorities on this question is what might be called “sovereign wealth fund socialism,” whereby the government scoops up ownership of a broad swathe of the economy by simply buying lots of stock. A sovereign wealth fund would allow the government to capture some of that money, and use it to the country’s benefit.”
Of course Cooper only thinks about socialist like himself as being smart enough to know what constitutes the “country’s benefit”. He never considers that others might disagree with his utopian vision. Again, this is very common of Marxists. They see themselves as smarter than everybody else.
Marxists/socialists are the least educated people in the world when it comes to markets, and understanding how they work. We are to take Cooper’s word that the wealthy would occupy his government owned housing, paying the freight for the poor. Distorting the market, he says, would be good for rental prices.
Cooper advocates for a sovereign wealth fund, where the federal government just buys up a huge chunk of the private sector. Where is the government going to get the money for that? Imagine your tax bill! Sovereign wealth fund? How about paying off America’s national debt first?
It’s also important to bring Venezuela into the equation. Cooper’s discussion seems to fit right in with what Hugo Chavez instituted there. Now the IMF projects Venezuela’s 2018 inflation rate to exceed 13,000%.
See UPDATE Below on IMF’s new inflation forecast.
“For an example of how this works, albeit on a small scale, you need only look to the 49th state. Funded by oil revenue, Alaska’s wealth fund has about $55 billion in assets, and pays out a yearly dividend to every Alaskan; in 2016 the figure was $1,022.
Either you could simply kick it back out to the population, or spend it on public works without needing to raise taxes, or whatever goodies you want.“
Once again, there is no mention by Cooper of America’s strangling debt. As Margaret Thatcher once said:
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
“That is the future utopia that socialists are striving for
If the Brandeisians and the social democrats achieve some measure of success in the next few years, how much further to press things will be a natural question. I say you might as well try especially given the wretched performance of American neoliberalism over the past generation.
Let us experiment boldly, and see how perfect we can make this union.”
The strongest argument against Cooper comes from his own words.
He states that the vision is a:
“future utopia that socialists are striving for.”
There are no utopias. No such animal exists, so socialists are going to destroy America in search of unicorns and fairy dust.
Finally, Cooper closes with:
“Let us experiment boldly, and see how perfect we can make this union.”
Experiment? The world is strewn with the wreckage of countries that Marxists, socialists, leftists have experimented on. America, the last bastion of freedom, must not become another one.
UPDATE: Since I published this blog, the IMF updated its projection for Venezuela’s rate of inflation. As if 13,000% wasn’t bad enough, they are now projection 1,000,000% for 2018! Can you say Weimar Republic?