Tuesday, January 28, 2020

How Radical of a Socialist is Bernie Sanders?

Bernie Sanders
It is getting bad out there.

With Bernie Sanders soaring in the Iowa polls a week before the Democratic Iowa caucuses, even some New York Times columnists are getting concerned.

NYT columnist Bret Stephens writes:
[T]he argument understates the radicalism of what [Bernie] Sanders and [Elizabeth] Warren propose. Theirs is not a painless policy massage in the direction of a kinder, gentler economy. It’s a frontal and highhanded assault on American capitalism. If it succeeded, it would entail devastating dislocations to millions of workers lasting for years. If it failed, it would have devastating effects on the country lasting for decades.

How devastating? In October, Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute tallied the costs of Mr. Sanders’s policy goals. By his calculations, the federal government would double in size. Half the American work force would be employed by the government, Mr. Riedl writes. Government spending as a percent of G.D.P. would rise to 70 percent (in Sweden, it’s less than 50 percent). The 15.3 percent payroll tax would hit 27.2 percent to help pay for Medicare for All. Total additional outlays would reach $97.5 trillion on top of the nearly $90 trillion the federal, state and local governments are projected to spend over the next decade.

At least Sanders is honest enough to call this what it is: socialism.
The Iowans are getting suckered by Bernie. He is a very radical socialist, I would say just one notch below that of Lenin. Like Lenin, he doesn't understand basic economics and why government planned economies can't work (See: The Most Important Book For Our Age on Socialism).

It is probably unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination but that so many support his socialist proposals is a serious concern long-term

The socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is campaigning in Iowa with Sanders and apparently to enthusiastic crowds.
She is one very dangerous socialist. Probably, more dangerous than even Sanders and Warren. And she will be around a lot longer.

Somehow, someway, this absurd idea that central planning by government can work has to be crushed or the central planning idea, itself, will crush us all.



  1. But MMT tells me those costs don't matter, the US can never run out of money, lol.

  2. I note Bret Stephens's turn of phrase, "American capitalism." Of course, true free-market capitalism doesn't have American, European, Iranian, or Rwandan varieties. However, once you start qualifying capitalism with such adjectives, it becomes clear that what is really meant is crony capitalism; Stephens means that Sanders and Warren are out to disrupt the particular crony privileges that exist in the US.