Image: The Intercept
The Democratic party that gave us John F. Kennedy is no longer with us. Pretty soon the party of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi will also be dead and gone. In their place are people with a far more ominous philosophy on government and economic systems: socialism.
Candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for New York’s 14th Congressional District, as well as Andrew Gillum for Governor of Florida, are the future of the Democratic Party. These candidates are pushing for policies such as the abolition of ICE, universal healthcare coverage, and gun control laws that will undoubtedly be a blow to liberty for American citizens.
They are among the new generation of Democrats that are going to push us in the direction of socialism and open borders. Opponents of theirs, much like those of Barack Obama, will be met with accusations of racism. The Republican running against Gillum, Ron DeSantis, found that out recently when the mainstream media predictably straw-manned the following quote of his and smeared him as a racist because his Democrat opponent is a black man.
“The last thing we need to do is monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”
Anyone with a functioning brain knows that he meant “let’s not mess this up,” yet the talking heads in the media had a field day with it. He correctly identified the threat of socialism by means of huge tax increases that progressive candidates will undoubtedly codify into law if elected. In order to distract from a valid economic point, Democrats pull the race card. As usual.
Unlike the nearly non-existent bigotry that the left is always screaming about, discussions about economics are actually of importance. A recent poll from Gallup has shown us that 57 percent of Democrats hold a favorable view of socialism, but only 47 percent hold a favorable view of capitalism. This is problematic because there is grave danger in concentrating so much power into the hands of any one group of people.
Nineteenth century French economist and writer, Claude Frédéric Bastiat, summed up what constitutes good government in his essay, The Law. “The mission of the law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its purpose is to protect persons and property,” he explained.
“If you exceed this proper limit — if you attempt to make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, or artistic — you will then be lost in uncharted territory, in vagueness and uncertainty, in a forced utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it on you.”
What happens when that utopia involves collective ownership over resources, allows no recognition of private property rights, or when there are centrally planned price controls in place? The result is the elimination of an incentive structure; therefore, the failure of an economy. This has happened countless times throughout history.
In sixteenth century Britain, certain grazing lands for cattle were communally owned by villages, and were available for anyone to use. The result was the exploitation and overgrazing of the land. This, of course, rendered the land worthless to everyone and then no one could use it.
Mark J. Perry, economics professor at the University of Michigan and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains the importance of an incentive structure in an essay he authored on the failures of socialism:
“While private property creates incentives for conservation and the responsible use of property, public property encourages irresponsibility and waste. If everyone owns an asset, people act as if no one owns it. And when no one owns it, no one really takes care of it.”
Author and personal finance expert, Chris Hogan, explained in a PragerU video he did on the topic of Social Security that the program will be broke in no time at all due to a variety of different factors.
The program was started in 1935, under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as something that was out of reach of most people by design. The average lifespan back then was 60, the retirement age was set at 65 (where it has remained), and the worker-to-retiree ratio was 159:1. Today the average lifespan is 79, so most people now gain access to the program. The problem is the ratio of people subsidizing to people benefiting is now only 2.8:1.
Not only do the Democrats want to sustain failed programs like Social Security, but they also want to expand upon them with other socialist programs like universal healthcare. There will exist no incentive structure to provide a quality service or product, and these programs will bankrupt the entire economy.