Sunday, February 10, 2019

Trump's plan may work!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair
     At the State of the Union address, President Trump declared, "Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”  CNN’s instant poll said 76% of Americans approved of that statement. "Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country," the president said. "America was founded on liberty and independence - not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free."  Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), an avowed socialist, frowned at the president’s remarks, but most Democrat members did stand after Trump’s statement.          
      Socialism is an economic system where the ways of making a living (factories, offices, etc.) are owned by society as a whole, instead of private owners.  Socialists believe that production and distribution of goods should be controlled by the government rather than private enterprise.  There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.   To be fair, Bernie Sanders and other socialists in Congress have never called for government takeover of private business.  Their socialist model is more like Europe’s, where social safety nets (health care, housing, food stamps) are paid for by higher tax rates.  The U.S. has moved closer to the European model in recent years,
     Socialism rewards mediocrity while capitalism rewards those who are productive. Capitalism is freedom, socialism is economic slavery.  Capitalism promotes a free market- socialism works to control the market.  President Reagan said, "Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process."     
     Few schools teach the difference between the economic systems, so many young people gravitate to socialism since it seems fairer to everyone.  Recent polls show more than 40% of those under 30 years of age flavorfully view socialism. But they should be careful what they wish for.  Sir Winston Churchill said, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."  America has moved closer and closer to the European model in recent years, but ultimately every socialist system fails.  A classic example is Venezuela, a purely socialist country, in both governmental and economic crisis.   
     John Galbraith, a liberal economist and an advocate of socialism, said in 1970 that Democrats should use the term socialism because it described what was needed in America.  But after receiving negative feedback, the Ds dropped in tag in subsequent years.  With the recent election of two members of Congress who are openly socialist, perhaps that is changing.       
     Based on what President Trump said in the State of the Union, it is clear he plans to hang the socialist label on the Democrats in 2020.  Democrats deserve the tag since their political philosophy has moved to more government intervention and more taxes.  Trump’s strategy is sound, since the vast majority of Americans do not agree with socialism.

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