One Man's Rant: What could possibly go wrong with socialism?
The United States is history’s most successful national experiment in government. It’s the only time that citizens formed a government and told the government what powers it could have. It owns an amazing biography of working to correct its flaws and a long list of enduring accomplishments on its way to becoming the world’s super power in the first 170 years of existence. Ours is a country that grew bold via a foundation of religion and a chosen economic system of capitalism.
There is an irony with a stench about it, however. At a time when lines of would-be legal immigrants to enter the US are longer than to enter any other country in the world, a growing demographic of those born here wish to forsake our country and what it stands for.
A recent Gallup poll reveals that close to 60 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of socialism while a dwindling number of them favor capitalism. In my opinion, this unfortunate turn of events results from a distinct hatred of things American and a profound ignorance of history.
One old face and one new face of the Democrat Party are leading this charge into the dead-end back alley of socialism. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are winning adherents on the left by promising lots of free things, such as healthcare, education and food, subsidized housing and guaranteed jobs. Promising free things is nothing new for how Democrats win votes, but this time, party leaders are openly identifying themselves as socialists.
Although he’s been in the Congress since 1990, Bernie has yet to author a single bill that’s made it into law. His proposed healthcare plan, for example, would cost $32 trillion over 10 years. He has yet to explain how we’d pay for his program. And he’s seldom asked how by the leftist media.
In answer to the question why unemployment is so low, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, despite having a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College, explains, “Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hour a week and can barely feed their family.” Uh, Alexandria, you may want to request a refund for the cost of your degree. According to Economics 101, unemployment is low when there are more jobs available than there are people seeking them.
Bernie and Alexandria don’t have the answers. Neither do the people who support them. Those who foolishly favor socialism seem to be prevalent in the media and in Hollywood and, tragically, in our education system. I can in some small way forgive the young for not knowing history and the devastation socialism has visited upon nations that have practiced it since they haven’t been taught history, but I don’t excuse adults who should know better.
Sean Penn, the brilliant geo-political thinker, not long ago, praised Hugo Chavez in his administration of Venezuela. Socialists Chavez and current president Nicolas Maduro managed to transform Venezuela from one of the most prosperous nations in South America into an economic hell hole complete with bread lines and a population in revolt. Chavez said, “I am convinced that the path to a new, better and possible world is not capitalism, the path is socialism.” I wonder if starving Venezuelans would agree?
On the other hand, Winston Churchill is quoted, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
So, who should we believe, Churchill or Chavez and Sean Penn?
To comment on the column, email firstname.lastname@example.org.