Jay Am­brose: The so­cial­ists are com­ing! The so­cial­ists are com­ing!

Calhoun Times - - OPINION & VOICES -

She’s a big­gie, Alexan­dra Oca­sioCortez is, be­cause this 28- yearold politi­cian de­clared her­self a so­cial­ist, beat a pow­er­ful New York City Demo­crat in a pri­mary, is sure to go to Congress af­ter the Novem­ber elec­tion and is the fu­ture. I am talk­ing about the so­cial­ist fu­ture, the fu­ture that could very well ruin Amer­ica.

It might not hap­pen, of course, but Oca­sio- Cortez is just one of a num­ber of Democrats suf­fi­ciently con­fused and am­bi­tious to be turn­ing to a sys­tem that stuffs lib­erty in a bag while it locks the door on eco­nomic growth. This arises out of old in­stincts, but also be­cause of the party’s cur­rent, in­ef­fec­tual mud­dle of what do we want and when do we want it. And don’t for­get that there is also po­lit­i­cal op­por­tu­nity: Al­though they may not quite un­der­stand so­cial­ism, 50 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als are for it.

The mil­len­nial vote will at one point be the big­gest vote in Amer­ica and it’s al­ready pow­er­ful enough to have given oomph to the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of one of Amer­ica’s old­est hip­pies, the so­cial­ist sen­a­tor named Bernie San­ders. He’s the guy be­cause, for one thing, he not only wants to stick it to those big cor­po­ra­tions ( that hap­pen to be cru­cial to our well­be­ing), but prom­ises to save the stu­dents from loan debt.

He wants to make col­leges free for all, al­though, sadly, they won’t be free for tax­pay­ers and the spend­ing won’t be kind to na­tional debt. Here is some­thing to keep in mind. Tu­ition is mainly as high as it is right now be­cause of lib­eral en­thu­si­asm for this loan idea en­abling col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties to get away with ask­ing for how­ever much money they wanted.

Good in­ten­tions mixed with scram­bled thought inevitably pave the road to penury, mis­ery and worse, as in 100 mil­lion peo­ple be­ing killed by in the 20th cen­tury by such so­cial­ist regimes as the Soviet Union, China and North Korea. To­day, a fore­most ex­em­plar of star­va­tion tech­niques is the so­cial­ist regime in Venezuela.

In Western coun­tries to­day, we know, so­cial­ism does not mean gov­ern­ment own­ing most in­dus­tries and in­dulging in Stal­in­ist dic­ta­tor­ships, but more nearly ex­er­cis­ing con­trol through reg­u­la­tory overkill and “soft despo­tism.” As de­scribed by the 19th cen­tury au­thor Alexis de Toc­queville, that would be gov­ern­ment that hin­ders, re­presses, ex­tin­guishes, dazes and stu­pe­fies, re­duc­ing peo­ple to a timid herd of sheep. Free­dom can go ka­put, he said.

Agree­ing with him was a 20th cen­tury po­lit­i­cal ge­nius named F. A. Hayek who fret­ted mainly about so­cial­is­tic cen­tral plan­ning in which a hand­ful of ex­perts sub­sti­tute for com­pe­ti­tion and the choices of mil­lions of con­sumers. Po­lit­i­cal power grows, in­di­vid­ual power is di­min­ished, mar­kets are wrecked, promised ben­e­fits never show up, group iden­tity mat­ters more than merit and you are told not just what side of the road to drive on, but what your des­ti­na­tion should be.

In re­sponse to such crit­i­cisms, San­ders has said look at what the so­cial­is­tic Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries have done for the work­ing man, and, yes, look and get it that these are ac­tu­ally cap­i­tal­is­tic with a freer econ­omy in Den­mark than here, no min­i­mum wage in any of them, lower cor­po­rate taxes than ours ( at least be­fore Trumpian tax re­form), pri­va­ti­za­tion of schools and the postal ser­vice in Swe­den and cut­backs in spend­ing.

San­ders might note, though, that they still have ex­pen­sive wel­fare pro­grams and that, ac­cord­ing to The Money Il­lu­sion, a cou­ple with an in­come of about $70,000 in Swe­den can pay a 60 per­cent in­come tax on top of a value- added tax. That’s what he wants in Amer­ica?

Cap­i­tal­ism is spread­ing world­wide, lift­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions out of des­ti­tu­tion, and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s tax re­form and reg­u­la­tory re­duc­tions have given a mighty push to eco­nomic progress. Blacks, for in­stance, have the low­est un­em­ploy­ment rate in his­tory. Oca­sio- Cortez re­sponds that “un­em­ploy­ment is low be­cause ev­ery­one has two jobs.” What?

Sorry, but that’s what you get from so­cial­ists. Watch out.

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