So­cial­ism wrong path for U.S. econ­omy

Boston Herald - - HERALD OPINION - By BETSY MCCAUGHEY Betsy McCaughey is a se­nior fel­low at the Lon­don Cen­ter for Pol­icy Re­search and a former lieu­tenant gov­er­nor of New York.

The most strik­ing dif­fer­ence be­tween Democrats and Repub­li­cans is not their views on #MeToo, af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion or the Supreme Court. It’s how they view the econ­omy. Repub­li­cans de­plore so­cial­ism. But more than half of Democrats view so­cial­ism fa­vor­ably, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Gallup poll. The Demo­cratic Party’s left flank is turn­ing the midterm elec­tions into a ref­er­en­dum on cap­i­tal­ism. Sens. Bernie San­ders and El­iz­a­beth War­ren, New York con­gres­sional can­di­date Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez and dozens of other fed­eral and state can­di­dates protest that our eco­nomic sys­tem is un­just and needs an over­haul. They de­mand rad­i­cal changes like giv­ing work­ers con­trol of 40 per­cent of cor­po­rate board seats and mak­ing boards serve vague goals of so­cial jus­tice in­stead of max­i­miz­ing prof­its. They’re also push­ing for huge min­i­mum wage hikes. These changes will tank the econ­omy and hurt the very work­ers the party claims to rep­re­sent. The left is revving up at­tacks on cap­i­tal­ism just as work­ers on the bot­tom rungs are be­gin­ning to ben­e­fit from the boom­ing U.S. econ­omy. Ac­cord­ing to last week’s jobs re­port, unem­ploy­ment has been pushed back to its low­est level since 1969. Pay for peo­ple with­out a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion jumped al­most 6 per­cent since last year — triple the over­all wage gain. Tell that to San­ders. He waged a blis­ter­ing at­tack against Ama­zon and its sub­sidiary, Whole Foods, un­til last week, when the gi­ant re­tailer buck­led and an­nounced a min­i­mum $15 an hour wage for all work­ers. Don’t worry about Ama­zon. The gi­ant re­tailer can pass its costs onto con­sumers, but Ama­zon em­ploy­ees lose. Ama­zon can­celed per­for­mance bonuses and stock awards for hourly work­ers to off­set the min­i­mum wage hike. The big­gest losers are lowskilled job seek­ers priced out of the mar­ket. Large min­i­mum wage hikes re­sult in lost en­try-level job op­por­tu­ni­ties, re­search shows. Mi­nori­ties are hit hard­est. On the other hand, Trump is get­ting tough on low wages where they hurt Amer­i­can work­ers the most — in for­eign coun­tries. Trump’s re­vised trade agree­ment with Mex­ico stip­u­lates that more than 40 per­cent of auto man­u­fac­tur­ing work must be done by work­ers who earn $16 an hour. Mean­while, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial wannabe El­iz­a­beth War­ren has in­tro­duced the Ac­count­able Cap­i­tal­ism Act, which would give work­ers con­trol of 40 per­cent of cor­po­rate board seats and a veto over many cor­po­rate de­ci­sions. It would also com­pel boards to fo­cus on murky “com­mu­nity and so­ci­etal fac­tors” in­stead of max­i­miz­ing prof­itabil­ity. In­vestors won’t put their money into an en­ter­prise un­der those con­di­tions. War­ren’s leg­is­la­tion would cause the stock mar­ket to plum­met, tak­ing down mil­lions of peo­ple’s re­tire­ments and wip­ing out the cap­i­tal needed to cre­ate fu­ture growth and jobs. Shock­ingly, this woman wants to be pres­i­dent. Democrats in fa­vor of so­cial­ism need to take a hard look at the re­sults in Venezuela and Cuba. Is that what they want for Amer­ica?

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