A principal promise of socialism was to replace the alleged uncertainty of markets with the comforting certainty of a central economic plan. Of course, socialism utterly failed. By making the state the arbiter of economic value and social justice, as well as the source of rights, it deprived individuals of their liberty...
Anyone who speaks glibly of "spreading the wealth around" sees wealth not as resulting chiefly from individual effort, initiative, and risk-taking, but from great social forces beyond any private producer's control. Wealth, in this view, is produced principally by society. (And) because wealth is produced mostly by society (rather than by individuals), taxing high-income earners more heavily will do little to reduce total wealth production.
Consider the words of longtime Socialist Party of America presidential candidate Norman Thomas: "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened." In addition to Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlement programs, the gathering political momentum toward single-payer healthcare – which Obama has proclaimed is his ultimate goal – shows the prescience of Thomas's words.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Don Boudreaux has a thoughtful article which concludes that, while not a socialist in the classic sense, Obama shares many of socialism's beliefs.
Posted by Scott Grannis at 10:16 AM