Richard Ebeling emails:
I have a new article on the “EpicTimes” news and commentary website on “‘Democratic Socialism’ Means the Loss of Liberty.”
Democratic Party hopeful Bernie Sanders has recently delivered a speech explaining what he means by “democratic socialism.” It turns out that that what he means is Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 “economic Bill of Rights,” in which FDR called for everyone to have a government-given entitlement to a job, a “living” wage, “adequate” food, clothing and “free time,” as well as a “decent” home and health care.
These are labeled “rights” because people are not truly “free” when the needs and necessities of life are not “freely” available to all. In this FDR and Sanders have merely picked up on a theme in Karl Marx that the only person who is really free is the individual who does not have to do anything that he does not want to do to get things he wants.
But since little of value is “free” in life because of scarcity – the limitedness of means to use to achieve our desired ends – if we don’t work ourselves to get what we want, then someone else must do the work and be compelled to part with the fruits of his own labor through government taxation and redistribution.
At the end of the day, the “freedom” dreamed of by Bernie Sanders and other “democratic socialists” (or American “progressives”) imposes government command over all, some of whom must be coerced to give up what they have produced, and others who become political dependents, getting from government to “set them free” from material wants, by being confined to the standards and requirements of what eligibility for these “entitlements” imposes.
Moving further down this road will only reduce the liberty of the citizenry even more than is already the case.