Saving America With Socialism?

Friday, September 6, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Kurt Williamsen & Steve Byas
Friday, 06 September 2019

“Progressives” claim that the best proof that socialism would work in this country to fix our problems with welfare, healthcare, and more is that socialism is already working here.

“Feel the Bern” was the cry of endorsement for socialist Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race, a call heeded by more the two million people under the age of 30 who voted in Democratic caucuses and primaries for that election. Such was the outpouring of support for Sanders that the current crop of Democratic presidential contenders, with one notable exception, is fighting to see who can come up with the most all-encompassing government giveaways and the most extravagant promises of government problem-solving — from improving race relations, to solving inequality, to taking care of debt and poverty, to fixing the Earth’s environment, and more. The one main exception, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, was booed at a California Democratic Party event when he said, “Socialism is not the answer.”

Ironically, Bernie Sanders recently came under fire from his own campaign staff, as he once again runs for president, because, they said, he pays them starvation wages. The workers make about $36,000 per year, which is about $17 an hour if they work a standard 2,080-hour year (40-hour weeks), but they are working 60-hour weeks, so they are making about $11 an hour. Since part of the Sanders campaign pledge is for a $15 per hour federal minimum wage, the campaign workers demanded to be paid $15 per hour. In response, Sanders cut the number of hours they work so that though their total wages won’t go up, they will now be getting $15 an hour. (Presumably this would help the campaign workers because they would have time in the day to get another job to pay their bills.)

Sanders, probably for the first time in his life, ran into economic reality: He had to decide how to spend his personal resources, and in the choice between socialist generosity and personal frugalness, socialism lost out. Note that Sanders is a multimillionaire who prior to being shockingly elected as a mayor of Burlington, Vermont, was constantly poverty-stricken because he never worked a steady job before that time, when he was nearly 40 years old — hence, his critics say, his lack of understanding about meeting a payroll and keeping the doors of a business open. Other Democrat candidates are accused of the same or of simply being narcissistic and power-hungry.

However, despite criticism of the Democratic candidates and their plans, liberals continue to jump on the socialist railroad. “Government protects the environment (air, water, and forests), builds and maintains roads and other infrastructure, provides monies and homes for the poor and elderly, provides public schooling and police and firefighting services, and more,” say Democrats/progressives. “And,” they claim, “the rest of our country’s problems could be solved with socialism, too!” And they know this because, they say, not only is socialism working around the world, it’s already working in the United States, too.

As evidence that socialism is working in the United States, they point to the fact that the air and water have gotten cleaner, increasing amounts of wildlands have been set aside, high percentages of kids are graduating from high schools, lots of people rely on welfare and would be sunk without it, etc.

But before even analyzing the truth of the assertions, astute Americans should at least suspect that something isn’t kosher with the claims being made. After all, government always seems to be broke and begging for more tax money, or it is found trying to fix some type of catastrophe in the areas it has taken upon itself to control.

The list of government programs that are running short of cash are numerous. Here are just a few:

• The National Flood Insurance Program, a government program that is supposed to be self-supporting via insurance payments and that insures houses against floods through insurance companies, has had claims exceed payments since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Congress had to bail it out to the tune of $16 billion in 2017, and it now needs $20.5 billion. Aggravating the problem, the government often pays repeat flood claims for the same properties, instead of having the homeowners move or accept their flood risks.

The Rest…HERE

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