So­cial­ist al­ter­na­tive we should de­feat

The Korea Times - - OPINION - By Jay Am­brose Jay Am­brose is an op-ed colum­nist for Tribune News Ser­vice. His com­men­tary was dis­trib­uted by Tribune Con­tent Agency, LLC.

Sen. Bernie San­ders, 78 years old, is back in the sad­dle again af­ter his re­cent heart at­tack, at­tract­ing 26,000 en­thu­si­asts at a rally in New York City and once more vent­ing his hate­ful big­otry, re­new­ing his war on lib­erty and plan­ning to spend us into poverty.

Eco­nom­i­cally speak­ing, he is ut­terly con­fused, but vot­ers like prom­ises of free stuff and many share his anti-cor­po­rate fer­vor. Some peo­ple today un­der­stand so­cial­ism so poorly that they think it is a good idea and they are with him when he snarls about cor­rupt, greedy rich peo­ple dic­tat­ing gov­ern­men­tal poli­cies and cap­i­tal­ism de­stroy­ing our lives.

It’s amaz­ing to me that peo­ple who call our pres­i­dent a hater don’t hear the bit­ter nas­ti­ness in San­ders’ voice al­most ev­ery time he talks and that they don’t catch on that his stereo­typ­i­cal, de­grad­ing gen­er­al­i­ties about free mar­kets are ig­no­rant, im­ma­ture, hippy-style prej­u­dice, pure and sim­ple.

What was re­cently dumb­found­ing was when he at­tacked Sen.

El­iz­a­beth War­ren dur­ing a de­bate. He an­grily be­lit­tled her for say­ing she was a cap­i­tal­ist down to her bones even though she agrees with him on his most ab­surd pol­icy pro­pos­als.

Nei­ther of the two is quite yet so­cial­ist in the worst mean­ing of the word, namely gov­ern­ment own­er­ship of just about ev­ery­thing. But both are for all-pow­er­ful cen­tral plan­ners putting their om­ni­science to work as a sub­sti­tute for free choice by mil­lions who best un­der­stand their par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances even in the ab­sence of hoity-toity cre­den­tials.

The duo doesn’t get it that cap­i­tal­ism came from bungling Euro­pean aris­to­crats fi­nally grant­ing free­dom to mid­dle class mer­chants and pro­duc­ers who in­no­vated us into moder­nity. It has helped con­fer dig­nity on the in­di­vid­ual and lifted hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple out of mis­ery while out­right so­cial­ism has never worked. One form of it, com­mu­nism, has killed 100 million peo­ple on the way to sav­ing them.

A great San­ders hope is to wipe out all pri­vate health in­surance and re­place it by hav­ing Medi­care go from help­ing just the dis­abled and el­derly to serv­ing ev­ery­one for free. Medi­care is al­ready run­ning out of money and ready to help gen­er­ate a cri­sis.

Its San­ders-era costs could ka­boom to some­thing like $34 tril­lion a decade. That’s on the order of two-thirds of to­tal fed­eral gov­ern­ment rev­enue. Tax­pay­ers would have to go into hid­ing, debt would leap off a cliff, other pro­grams might have to be ditched and some hos­pi­tals get­ting re­duced fees might col­lapse.

That’s not the end of it, of course, be­cause some of the pri­mary can­di­dates also want, as just a few ex­am­ples, free col­lege, $1.53 tril­lion in stu­dent debt paid off by the in­no­cent, $1,000 a month for ev­ery adult out there and raises for all teach­ers el­i­gi­ble to vote, or so I guess.

Of course, they also fa­vor the Green New Deal that would get rid of all fos­sil fuels, mil­lions of jobs and san­ity to be re­placed by to­tal­i­tar­i­an­ism and ruin ac­com­plish­ing noth­ing much.

The strange thing is Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, seen as a golden-haired fool next to all th­ese in­tel­lec­tual won­ders, has helped give us the low­est un­em­ploy­ment and high­est wages in decades and the best eco­nomic ben­e­fits for African-Amer­i­cans in his­tory. In­stead of sub­merg­ing cap­i­tal­ism, he helped buoy it and thereby our liv­ing con­di­tions by re­duc­ing reg­u­la­tions and taxes.

Here are some prin­ci­ples left­ists should learn: that gov­ern­ment is not God and will of­ten make prob­lems worse in­stead of solv­ing them, that over­whelm­ing, hur­ried change will in­evitably pro­duce un­in­tended con­se­quences, that in­cre­men­tal­ism al­lows for the re­pair of mis­takes as they hap­pen and that ci­ti­zens have rights and brains.

They should also lis­ten to the pres­i­dent of Den­mark who tried to con­vey to San­ders that pros­per­ous Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries are not so­cial­ist and to the pres­i­dent of Venezuela who says his coun­try is in­deed an ex­am­ple of demo­cratic so­cial­ism that will sooner or later de­feat the star­va­tion he won’t ad­mit the so­cial­ism caused.

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