Having looked at Sanders by assessing his background, let’s look at what he proposes as his catch-all solution- Socialism.
The Millenials, who fawn over Sanders as their savior, meanwhile fumble around with electronic devices day and night to communicate with their world – none of which were created under a socialist market scheme.
No, all the entrepreneurial capitalists that they rail against, created all of them. The truth is, capitalism created everything they rely upon today for their convenience and well….their very existence.
If Sanders supporters are going to support a candidate who calls himself a socialist, we should take a look at what Socialism has contributed to humanity?
If you look at nations based on socialism as the Chinese, North Korean, Russian and Cuban society are (as noted in their Constitutions), their track record for civil rights (as well as innovation) is abysmal.
All of these nations have deeply stratified gaps between the wealthy and the working classes with few in between as Marxism predicts.
Civil rights are stringently controlled by the State and sparse for the most part. However, if you dare oppose the State, you will violently discover where your rights actually come from.
Innovation and invention are nearly absent. There is no personal incentive to encourage it.
In fact, without billions of dollars of aid from the West, Soviet Marxism would have experienced an economic collapse far sooner than the ’90s.
China, the new superpower, did not do it through a capitalist society. They were given almost all of their manufacturing capacities from the United States (as was Soviet Russia) through corporate transfers of tools, technology, and capital.
In truth, the Socialist model of government has never contributed anything of note innovative or invented anything of consequence.
No, in fact, if we are intellectually honest, all Socialists actually contribute is complaints. As far as innovation and invention go, Socialists let the capitalists do all that stuff.
Like Bernie’s fruitless attempts at business, Socialists contribute nothing to the technological advancement of society. They simply claim that society can’t work unless they are in charge.
They sweep in and arrogantly claim they know better than the market on how the wealth created by capitalists should be distributed– as long as they are in charge of the distribution.
They are interested in the power of control, not the creation of what is controlled.
The main contribution of Socialists is to complain about inequality posturing themselves as having all of the idyllic answers to society’s ills.
As Frederic Bastiat points out in his book The Law, Socialists practice legalized plunder. They feel entitled to the wealth produced by others, which they assume they best know how to divvy up.
As Marx and Engels put it:
From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.
Redistribution of wealth, a key cornerstone of Communism.
John Mackey, founder of the successful Whole Foods chain, didn’t start out as a free-market capitalist.
He was a member of a co-op and did not like the way it was run.
He thought he could do better. He decided to open Safer Way, a health food store in Austin, Texas, to sell healthy food to people, earn a decent living and have fun doing it.
At the time he was a vegetarian who described himself as having a “progressive political philosophy” which believed that both business and capitalism were fundamentally based on greed, selfishness, and exploitation. (Sounds like a familiar refrain of Bernie, of course.)
Along the way, he came to realize that what he thought about business and capitalism was all wrong.
As he puts it:
Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business completely changed my life. Almost everything I had believed about business was proven to be wrong.
Funny how reality tends to wake us up to our self-deceptions.
Mackey cites economist Deirdre McCloskey (author of Bourgeoisie Dignity) as arguing that:
The most important factors in free-enterprise capitalism’s success has been entrepreneurship and innovation combined with freedom and dignity for business people.
Capitalist’s inventions have changed the world– cars, phones, gasoline, computers, antibiotics. Even the massive spread of the internet has not been the result of government decree but:
Required massive amounts of innovation. Human creativity, partly individual but mostly collaborative and cumulative, is at the root of all economic progress.
Mackey goes on to cite how the growth of free-market capitalism completely revolutionized living standards for those nations which embraced it.
Just 200 years ago, 85% of humanity lived in extreme poverty (less than $1 a day). Now, it is only 16%.
In modern times, South Korea’s GDP has grown 260 fold since 1960.
How about its Northern neighbor under the tyranny of Communist Socialism- North Korea?
Of the two nations, the South is a free-market-oriented economy and the North is based on Marxist socialism. Which one would you rather live in?
Mackey’s book Conscious Capitalism covers these insights and more. Millennials should read it and learn.
The bottom line is that socialism is not responsible for the material progress of humanity, free-market capitalism is.
The sad reality is that Marxist socialism has caused far more damage to humanity than any other form of government.
Examples are nations like North Korea, China, Russia, and Cuba.
The socialist track record of civil liberty is one of oppression, not freedom.
The masses in fully socialist nations live pretty much hand to mouth. Meanwhile, those at the top live in massive excess.
What about socialist nations like China:
Before the West stepped in, Mao had starved more than 35 million of his own people to death under the failed socialist agricultural ideas of the 5 year planned economy Great Leap forward beginning in 1958.
Took less than 5 years too. Not exactly a badge of honor for the planned economy socialist economy to say the least.
China is known for its slave labor, highlighted in this documentary:
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As noted in the Chinese Constitution:
Chapter I General Principles
Article 1 The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.
The socialist system is the basic system of the People’s Republic of China. Disruption of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.
We learn a few basic facts in those initial principles:
So Bernie recommends…what was it again?
Oh yes, democratic socialism. Interesting parallels of philosophy one can note with the Chinese police state of oppression.
Sanders would like us to model ourselves after Denmark. The problem is his romanticized version of Denmark doesn’t exist.
While speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he was aware “that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism.”
Therefore,” Lars said, “I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.
Rasmussen acknowledged that “the Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security to its citizens,” but he also noted that it is “a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish.”
Additionally, as Michel Kelly-Gagnon- President of the Montreal Economic Institute notes:
Denmark’s welfare state is more of a rickety derelict than a solid structure. Successive governments have had to repeatedly reform the system, scaling back its benefits.
British journalist Michael Booth, who has lived in Scandinavia for over a decade and written a book about his experience there, The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.
Booth says that the quality of free education and health care Danes receive is far from great.
Their PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) educational rankings are just average. They have the lowest life expectancy in the EU aside from former communist countries, and the highest rates of death from cancer in the world.
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On top of this and more, guess which nation has the highest marginal tax rate in the world at 60.2%? Yes, that would be Denmark.
Michael Booth also says there is a broad consensus that the Danish welfare state remains unsustainable, despite the many reforms of recent decades:
The Danes’ dirty secret is that its public sector has been propped up by–now dwindling–oil revenues.
Bernie Sanders is a typical example of the socialist who condemns capitalism never having worked as a part of it.
Unlike John Mackey who reverted from being a progressive because of his involvement in starting his own entrepreneurial business, Sanders background has no business to speak of.
He’s never really owned a business or even run a business successfully or for any appreciable length of time.
Around 1976, Sanders left LUP and spent about two years as an amateur historian and film-maker, attempting to sell educational film strips to schools in New England.
“His main project,” says the Guardian, “was a short documentary about his hero, Eugene Debs (who was inspired by Marx’s Das Kapital while in prison), an early 20th-century union leader who was a six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist party.”
After that failed business experience, it was all public money jobs or politics for the Bern.
In 1964 he married a young woman named Deborah Sanders; the marriage only lasted two years ending in divorce.
Over the next few years, Sanders worked variously as a psychiatric-hospital aide and a Head Start preschool teacher in New York; as a Department of Taxes employee in Vermont; and as a staffer for a nonprofit organization called the Bread and Law Task Force, where he registered people for food stamps.
In 1969 he fathered a child out-of-wedlock.
Levi Noah Sanders had a mother named Susan Campbell Mott, according to his birth certificate. His resume for the Burlington Mayoral campaign simply read: Divorced, one child
So, what actual expertise does Bernie actually bring to the bear? Certainly, not his success as a family man, nor a businessman.
All he really has to offer are the tired, idyllic, tyranny producing ideas of Karl Marx repackaged as Progressive or Democratic Socialism.
Socialism needs the very thing they blame for all the problems in the world- free-market capitalism.
What new invention has been credited to a socialist?
What socialist actually do is take the products of labor others have produced and assume they know better than anyone else (including God) as to where it should be directed.
They don’t produce. They take the efforts of others and redistribute them. (Remember- From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.)
Socialists appeal to a basic human flaw- getting the greatest benefit from the least amount of effort, aka being lazy.
That sounds very appealing when you are struggling to make a living or to survive.
Socialists promote themselves by endorsing the theft of someone else’s labor and efforts. “We’re going to get all those exploitative, greedy capitalists. This is unfair and unequal.” they cry.
However, as Frederic Bastiat put it in his book the Law, their solution does nothing more than perform immoral legalized plunder.
Young people are fooled by the labels and subsequent promises. They think they are being forward-thinking.
However, they ignore a Leviathan government gone wild which has distorted a free market with huge regulatory control and interference while producing massive debt with a welfare/warfare state-funded by taxes and Federal Reserve Notes.
Politicians like Bernie, and the new Democratic Socialists like Ocasio Cortez, are happy to blame it all on “greedy rich capitalists”.
After all, it gets them off the hook and puts them in office. Parasitic politicians thrive off of this misdirection.
Nevertheless, take an objective look at the results in nations based on socialist idealism such as Russia, Red China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.
In every case, by redirecting the products of capitalism, all of these systems have ultimately only produced poverty and tyranny for the majority.
Bernie, like all good Marxists, rails against capitalism and the wealthy. He blames greed and wealth for all of our society’s ills.
He never mentions that capitalism is an economic system and socialism is a political system.
Comparing the two is like comparing humans to trees.
They are completely different entities operating under completely different laws.
Capitalism is subject to the laws of economics and wealth. It manages the flow of products and money. It is simply a cooperative means of producing wealth.
Capitalism used accurately produces wealth and products which people desire. Capitalism is nothing more than the cooperative use of the means of production to meet the needs people have for useful products (real wealth) or services.
Socialism, on the other hand, is a political animal. It is subject to political laws. It administrates services to the people who are participants in it, either by choice but oftentimes by force.
Socialism imposes the coercive force of government on all activities of people and arrogantly and forcibly redistributes wealth produced by the economic activity of capitalism.
Blaming capitalism for the problems of wealth distribution is like blaming the wood used to construct a house for the final product.
The wood is the material needed by laborers to construct the house.
However, the laborers who use the wood are responsible for how that material is used and its final product.
Blaming the wood for how the house turned out is what Bernie does when he, like most brainwashed (Or is that brain-damaged?) Marxist socialists, blame the tools of production for how capitalism has been used.
Fact: Capitalism can exist without socialism but socialism cannot exist without capitalism.
If there were no capitalism, there would be no wealth for socialists to redistribute.
Uninformed socialists make complete fools of themselves and fall for the mislabeling of social services such as fire and police et al as socialism.
They are completely different factors.
Fire and police are voluntary services taxpayers have agreed to fund. (Now coercively enforced with mandatory property taxation but they originated voluntarily.)
Socialism is a coercive political system that enforces itself (like the Chinese system) without tolerance for dissent. There is nothing voluntary about it. Once a socialist government has been established, tyranny has a foundation, as the citizens of Nazi (National Socialism) Germany discovered.
It is therefore deceptive to blame the very thing which produces all of the wealth socialists need in order to have anything to base their system upon.
Capitalist production of wealth creates the need for a political system to protect the ownership of the goods produced from it. It doesn’t entitle the government to remove wealth earned from capitalism if society is based upon freedom.
What socialism actually does is:
As all rational people agree, theft is an immoral activity. An immoral activity based on jealousy and covetousness, not fairness, despite the claims otherwise from its propagandist supporters.
“Thou shalt not steal.” as the Bible puts it. In fact, if we take someone else’s property we should be prosecuted as a criminal if a society is based on justice.
This is so because we all know that if someone earns something by trading his labor for money, they are entitled to spend or save that money as they determine.
It is, after all, the product of their efforts, not the governments.
In a free society, how they spend what they have freely earned should be their own choice.
What they purchase with that earned income becomes their property in a civilized and orderly society.
In a socialist system, you don’t get to keep what you work for. The more socialist the system, the less you get to keep.
In a fully socialist system, there are no private property rights. The State owns everything allegedly cooperatively with the people, but that ideal is only permitted under the approval of the State.
This is because Socialists basically don’t trust human beings (nor do those in charge want to give up their piece of the pie). This may be a projection of their own desires to steal from others which they know makes someone untrustable.
In fact, it is even questionable whether socialists even like people based on their historical results.
The most brutal societies have come from socialist-oriented leaders who have also promoted societies of extreme violence in order to achieve their idyllic goals.
Think conscienceless psychopaths like Mao Tse Tung, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Castro, Kim Il Jung, etc.
The more power they get. The more power they want. For as Lord Acton noted:
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority;
They feel entitled to the authority they use to take wealth from those which they determine to have too much of it through legalized theft to give to those who never did anything to earn it.
They justify this by claiming they are helping society to be fairer.
Fair, of course, is completely defined according to their determinations. They decide who gets what and how much of it.
In a nutshell, the basis of socialism is actually the immoral theft of the products of the capitalist efforts of others. Theft legalized through coercive threats of punishment from the government.
Even if legalized, the socialist government still does not change the immoral basis of taking income rightfully earned and giving it to another who has done nothing to earn it. It still remains theft- legalized or not.
In short, socialists are thieves promoting an immoral system of theft made legal by force. Socialism essentially then promotes immorality and aggression. Ultimately its application produces violence as socialists like Mao, Hitler, Stalin, and other socialists have demonstrated.
In fact, it is too much government which is the problem, not the economic system. Capitalism can exist without government but the government cannot exist without some form of capitalism.
Whenever you try to do good with other people’s money, you are committed to using force. If people don’t volunteer their earnings, the only way you can get it from them is to use some method of force, penalty of law; police or denial of earned income before they receive it (payroll deductions for example).
In the following video, the late well-respected economist Milton Friedman discusses Socialism as force. Friedman notes:
The most harm of all is done when power is in the hands of people who are absolutely persuaded of their intentions.
This is because as Lord Acton pointed out:
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
As Friedman notes:
Heaven preserve us from the sincere reformer who knows what’s good for you and, by heaven, will make you do it whether you like it or not. That’s when you get the most harm done.
Tyrants like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Castro were all persuaded that they were right. They were willing to use any method, including violent force or starvation, to install their idea of the “ultimate good”. To the socialist psychopath, people don’t matter- ideas do.
As history witnessed, all of their intentions resulted in devastation to the people. Societies that were supposed to benefit from their good- simply didn’t.
All were forced by the government into a form of socialist government.
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There are different types of capitalism that are determined largely by the political system that the products of capitalism enter.
Free markets produce free-market capitalism. Innovation arises spontaneously to satisfy societal needs.
Under free-market capitalism, technology tends to develop more rapidly because the market is allowed to develop without interference from authority. History has demonstrated this.
And yes, the innovators or sometimes the best marketers rather than the inventors, do become rich.
However, risk in a free market can also produce great failure or bankruptcy, as well as great rewards.
True capitalists accept risk knowing that life in the fast lane is for those who appreciate challenges and accept the consequences of risk- like adults.
Capitalism transforms, however, when the government becomes overly involved in capitalist efforts through excessive regulatory efforts or even worse ownership.
Under crony (crony means a powerful friend) capitalism, the free market transforms from a risk/reward market to an authority driven/regulated market.
It becomes a controlled market where risk is not necessarily rewarded accordingly but rather how much influence you have with the regulatory bodies.
Their regulations can benefit your business. A once freely operating capitalist market place becomes distorted.
Now, free-market capitalism becomes what is today referred to as crony capitalism.
The door has now been opened for “backroom” deals so to speak.
Deception has been introduced into what should be a freely operating market of exchange under free-market capitalism.
While we may have never have had a market totally free of government influence since the advent of our Constitution, markets with less regulation operate more freely.
However, as regulation grows, so too does market congestion. Markets tend to stagnate under heavy regulatory burdens and artificial government stimulus.
Stagnated markets and artificially stimulated markets also reflect stagnation in profits and employment. Under President Trump, over 30,000 pages of Federal regulations have been eliminated. As a natural consequence, markets have begun to re-stimulate and opportunity has risen while unemployment has declined.
Of course, socialist-oriented government officials always suggest more government controls once they get their hands in the pot. Most ignore the fact that they know little to nothing about how real markets actually work. The result is a handcuffed economy that inevitably slows to a crawl.
The media credits FDR’s New Deal with ending the depression. What they fail to report is the reality.
Despite three New Deals during the decade of the 1930s, according to the Bureau of Labor and Management figures:
All told, FDR’s government intervention had no lasting impact on the economy. It was an example of a socialist government intervention, not the operation of a free market.
Yet politicians worship him as a hero, even though his legacy social security program is one of our largest government debts today and has entered into a state of losses that will continue to mount.
It’s not hard to figure out why. Social security has become another lever to leverage voters. “I’ll protect Social Security”. has become a carrot held out to those depending on it.
Government intervention is not all it is cracked up to be. All it really helps, in the end, are the politicians who use it to buy votes so they can return to their cushy, highly paid jobs. The people meanwhile pay with their earned incomes and freedoms.
What is important to understand is that crony capitalism is not free-market capitalism.
Crony capitalism is:
The marriage of government and Corporations through regulatory controls.
The government is directing what should operate as a free cooperative agreement between employers/employers and producers/consumers.
Government regulation imposes an artificial interference that distorts a free market of cooperative exchange.
Crony capitalism supports more fascist and socialist-oriented forms of government.
Benito Mussolini, a hardcore socialist, selected fascism as a stepping stone towards socialism by taking control of the means of production through regulation.
In our nation, under Obama -a socialist-oriented President, the pages of the Federal Register rose to a record level of 95,894 pages in 2016, the highest level ever recorded.
This form of crony capitalism and socialism forcibly directed markets under Federal regulatory laws. Businesses controlled this way are forced to operate between regulations to get anything done. Decisions are made based on regulatory controls to avoid penalties, not profit and loss.
The impact of this coercive force was estimated to by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in their Ten Thousand Commandment Report of 2015 to be $1.88 Trillion for businesses and consumers or a $14,000 annual impact on the average family budget in additional costs.
Under Donald Trump, the regulatory impact had dropped 36% to 61,308 pages by the end of 2017– the lowest count since 1993. The results, as many already know, has been a significant drop in unemployment for all social segments of the market including blacks, Latino’s and woman.
Regulatory interference on the free market is what Communism, Nazism, Fascism and all socialist based systems produce which they call a “planned economy”.
It doesn’t work as has been demonstrated repeatedly in socialist based systems as in Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba and now in our hemisphere Venezuela.
Entrepreneurship dies out as regulations grow. A shared monopoly between business and the State takes its place.
For example, compare the systems of North Korea which is Marxist based socialism versus South Korea which is more of a free market-based capitalist system:
Another comparison is Marxist East Germany vs. free-market West Germany. One only had to look over a wall to see the stark difference between the free-market-oriented West and the Communist-controlled East Berlin.
Which of the two pairs of nations would you prefer to live in? The socialist one, or the free market one?
Of course, Sanders repeatedly points to the results of our present system of heavily regulated crony capitalism and places the blame on the economic system.
Of course, he fails to acknowledge that our political system has become increasingly socialist.
The immoral theft and redistribution of capitalist produced wealth is creating a malformed capitalism. He simply and misleadingly lumps it all under the label of capitalism.
He pointedly ignores the impact of socialist interference in what used to be a free market.
Socialist interference has led to massive debt caused by government growth and spending on socialist programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security- the largest sources of debt in our economic system even over the never-ending wars.
His proposed solution is to impose even more regulatory interference. Steal more wealth from producers that he arbitrarily decides to have too much money.
Despite the fact that Sanders has no successful experience in the realm of business and economics, he arrogantly assumes that he knows what is best for all of us.
He fashions himself as God, yet even as a politician he has only passed three bills in 40 years – two for post offices. So, how is this ineffective career politician with no successful business experience able to determine what is best for our economy? Particularly an economy collapsing under the weight of debt- caused primarily by too much government.
I think anyone with a shred of common sense left knows the answer to that one. He can’t.
In short, Sanders solution is more government theft of people’s earned incomes.
And if the rich don’t provide enough (which they will not) then he will take more from others (the bourgeoisie or middle class) until we are all equally poor and there is no middle class- the way of Karl Marx. That’s egalitarian equality under socialism- everyone equally poor.
Like all socialists, Sanders’ solution creates the problem by distorting the economic marketplace with over-regulation and debt stimulus. This creates an artificially stifled marketplace.
Then, after the market stagnates, they propose more government to resolve the problems which they created in the first place.
As David Horowitz, former hard-left activist puts it in Vol. 2- Progressives:
The belief in a perfect future inevitably inspires a passionate (and otherwise inexplicable) hatred towards the imperfect present.
The first agenda of social redeemers is to dismantle the existing social order, which means their intellectual and political energies are focused on the work of destruction.
In short, socialists like Sanders take what others create through the force of government and play God.
Are you feeling the burn yet?
In part three, we’ll take a look at some present-day examples of Sanders’ proposals. We’ll see how they work in reality.
Missed part 1? Read it here
Go on to Part 3
The Bernie Sanders Deception – Feel the Burn- Part 1
The Bernie Sanders Deception – Feel the Burn- Part 3
Venezuela – A Portrait in the Failure of Socialism
“The Future of the Democratic Party” Exposes A Marxist Underbelly the Media Will Never Reveal
Sanders the Socialist- Feel the Burn
Recent Studies Show Canadian Healthcare is Far From Free and Not Getting Better