Back in June, I wrote about the bizarre allure of socialism and said that advocates (who generally don’t even know what socialism really means) were some of the most anti-empirical people in the world.
“… even though the real-world evidence against big government is so strong, it’s rather baffling that many young people are drawn to that coercive ideology and disturbing that a non-trivial number of voters favor this failed form of statism. … Socialism has a technical definition involving government ownership of the means of production and central planning of the economy. But most people today think socialism is big government, with business still privately owned but with lots of redistribution and intervention (I’ve argued, for instance, that even Bernie Sanders isn’t a real socialist, and that there are big differences between countries like Sweden, China, and North Korea). For what it’s worth, that’s actually closer to the technical definition of fascism.”
Now let’s update that column.
It seems that the cancer of socialism is spreading, at least if this story in The Week is any indication.
“Things are looking up for the Democratic Socialists of America. With a membership of 25,000, it is now the largest socialist group in America since the Second World War. And last weekend in Chicago, it held its largest convention, by a considerable margin, in its history. … Membership has more than tripled in a year, gaining a large boost from the candidacy of Bernie Sanders … That sharp surge in new recruits — most of whom are fairly young — has created a fairly stark age bifurcation among members. Somewhat akin to Sanders campaign, there is an old guard of people who have been carrying the left-wing torch for years, and a recent surge of new members … most of the major proposals were adopted with large majorities. Among other things, delegates voted to … endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (directed at ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza), … and to endorse Medicare for all as a major priority.”
I’m guessing that the bifurcated conference meant a handful of old people who are genuine socialists and a bunch of young people who think socialism is just a bunch of government-coerced redistribution and intervention.
Both groups, however, deserve scorn for favoring a system that elevates the state over individuals. That approach is grossly immoral.
Not to mention that it’s never worked. Nobody has ever provided a good answer to my two-part challenge.
I could continue, but no sense beating a dead horse.
Let’s close with a bit of humor. A friend in Australia sent me this clever image. I gather it’s a parody of an actual left-wing gathering Down Under. Regardless, I found it rather amusing.
Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute. Mitchell is a strong advocate of a flat tax and international tax competition.