Assessing Socialism’s Growing Threat To America

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?

5 Reasons Bernie’s Nordic Model Fails

Bernie Sanders, and his army of supporters, cite countries like Denmark as utopian ideals that they wish to transform America into.

“I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden, and Norway and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”

Denmark, along with other Nordics, Sweden, Norway and Finland, runs a current account surplus, and its public finances are in good shape. It is often cited as a good example of democratic socialism, a combination of socialism with a multiparty democracy. Even President Obama is feeling the Nordic burn.

Here are the top 5 reasons why Sanders et. al. are wrong to tout these countries as models for America.

1. Each of these nations have small populations compared to the United States. The table below ranks US state populations vs. Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. Sweden, by far the most populous Nordic Nation, would only rank as the 10th most populous state. The rest would rank 22nd or higher. Applying socialist policies from such small nations at a national level in the US, which is over 30 times bigger, is a dubious proposition at best.

US State Populations vs Nordic Nations

US State Populations vs Nordic Nations

2. Instead of looking to Europe for answers, we should look across the United States for them. The Tenth Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

America’s 50 states, not to mention its territories, serve as policy laboratories, for experimentation, study, and replication when effective.

Texas, for example, is a great state to model other state economic policies after. It produces a disproportionate share of America’s recent economic growth and outlook. Where appropriate, national policies should be put in place to improve the economic climate for states and their people to prosper. Why weren’t Apple, Microsoft, Walmart, Facebook, AT&T, Ford Motor, Exxon Mobil, GE, HP, etc. created in Sweden?

California used to be America’s breadbasket, and model economy. But like Sweden, progressives and socialists are slaying the goose (capitalism) that laid the golden egg (wealth generation), and Americans are leaving California. Government by its nature is corrupt, our founders knew this. The larger, more powerful the government, the greater the risk of corruption.

3. Unfortunately, like most socialist utopian goals, the truth of progressive policies are typically founded on fallacies, or the outright misrepresentation of history. “Nordic-philes” insinuate that socialist economies and welfare programs brought them wealth. This is incorrect.

Take Sweden for instance, Swedish economist Johan Norberg exposed the problems with Bernie’s adulation in this YouTube video.

Stefan Molynux goes into greater detail and pulls in the other Nordic States in his YouTube video “The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism.”

– The bottom line is that Sweden made its wealth as a free trade, open capitalist economy. The socialist welfare system came recently, and is drowning the world’s former #4 economy. Sweden is now retreating on its welfare promises, at the same time Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are promising massive expansions of government programs in the United States.

4. Instead of looking at these Nordic States, which are slowly taxing themselves out of wealth, you should study Venezuela, as the most recent country to succumb to socialist dogma. In 19 short years, Hugo Chavez took Venezuela from a prosperous, oil-exporting nation, to a near failed nation state as a direct result of instituting socialism.

UPDATE: Following my initial post, Leon Krauze from Univision asked Bernie Sanders this very question. If Bernie Sanders can’t face up to answer this question, his supporters likely won’t either.

Professional Venezuelan Women Forced Into Prostitution To Feed Their Families

President Nicols Maduro Prepares To Force Starving Venezuelans Into The Fields

“Dear Socialists of America, Let’s Chat About Venezuela.”

Socialists Stack Venezuelan Supreme Court

5. Marxist, progressive, and liberal politicians constantly search for the utopian application of the most destructive economic model in world history.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.” British PM Margaret Thatcher

There is never enough wealth transfer: ex. Switzerland’s welfare programs aren’t enough for many of its people, and it could be the first country to enact a national basic income when the Swiss vote this June 5th. Such a measure will swamp Switzerland’s economy.

Update:  The Swiss voters resoundingly defeated the initiative (77% against, 23% For).  Some of the main arguments against, beyond the enormous cost was:

“…disconnecting the link between work done and money earned would have been bad for society…Theoretically, if Switzerland were an island, the answer is yes. But with open borders, it’s a total impossibility, especially for Switzerland, with a high living standard…If you would offer every individual a Swiss amount of money, you would have billions of people who would try to move into Switzerland.”

Interesting comments from the very people Sanders wants to emulate.  They same arguments are made against unchecked illegal immigration and it’s impacts on American’s social welfare programs.

BOTTOM LINE: The answers to prosperity and freedom are within America’s borders. If you want socialism, move to Venezuela. If you want prosperity, stick with what made America the greatest economy in the world. Shrink the federal government’s power, and let Americans drive the economy.

Latest:

What Did President Obama Just Say?

Some things just don’t need an explanation:

I never thought that I’d see an American President see communism, socialism and capitalism on the same moral level. Mr. President, Communism doesn’t work anywhere! Unfortunately, Obama isn’t alone in the Democrat Party.

Some Other Disappointing Democrat Party Marxist Data Points: