Ocasio-Cortez seems to be the newfound hope of the Democratic Party—a party desperately clutching to anything that might appeal to a naive electorate. If it continues its wayward path, it will guarantee Trump’s reelection, if he isn’t removed from office before by one of the many potentially damaging issues surrounding him. Interestingly, rising star Ocasio-Cortez probably will stress the party’s paucity of relevant ideas after she and Bernie Sanders promote their failed socialist sound bites on their current campaign trail. These socialist principles appeal to college students many of whom are clueless about socialism and capitalism.
Ocasio-Cortez Socialism and the Democratic Party
As a student in the late sixties in London, England, socialism enamored me. I studied Mao Tse-tung’s (1893-1976) Little Red Book, Karl Marx’s (1818-1883) Communist Manifesto, and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. The concept of care for the population and wealth distribution in socialism appealed to me. However, over time, after digging deeper into the practical aspects of wealth creation and distribution, I saw inefficiencies and disincentives inherent in socialism that caused it to fail. In socialism, governments control the “commanding heights” of the economy, which means mushrooming bureaucracy and significant waste and ineffectiveness.
Capitalism has its flaws. Greedy individuals rip off workers, focus on the short-term and ruin lives while destroying companies. Today we see many excesses and abuses of capitalism in Wall Street and many companies. Nevertheless, capitalism has proven to be better at creating and distributing wealth than socialism. Sadly, we will always have people trying to oppress others, but that does not detract from the benefits of a constrained capitalist system to create meaningful jobs and wealth to sustain the population.
Bernie And Ocasio-Cortez Will Promise The Moon
Bernie Sanders and newcomer Ocasio-Cortez plan to provide goodies to the population. Where will they get funds to pay for their promises? There is one source only, businesses—that’s the only productive wealth generating entity in society, not the government. Demonizing and taxing businesses, creating a myriad of rules and regulations, and interfering with their operations, do not produce an environment for dynamic wealth creation. Companies have options and can exercise them freely in more friendly environments.
Like many on college campuses, neither Bernie nor Ocasio-Cortez have a practical plan to pay for their many promises. Free education, free medicare, guaranteed income, and other free items sound good in theory, but who pays for these items? The government, they propose, should take a more significant role in the economy. What does the government do well beyond wasteful spending?
Neither Socialism Nor Trump is the Answer
Donald Trump isn’t the answer, either. Trump is a narcissistic bully, failed businessman, poor leader who has convinced many folks he is a great negotiator and excellent businessman. However, his record does not support these claims even when he presents “alternative facts,” changes history and advises his followers not to believe what they “see” or “hear.” Instead, they should listen to his version of the “truth.”
His erratic behavior generally, and his actions to start the present trade war is causing uncertainty, but his bullying tactics might work. He is dividing and conquering Canada and Mexico while sidetracking NAFTA. Even the EU decided to humour him. The EU’s president says Trump’s tariffs are stupid, but Mr. Juncker said he would play along with Trump: “If you want to be stupid, I can be stupid, as well,” Mr. Juncker said.
Trump’s tariffs show his inconsistency quite vividly. On the one hand, he slaps duties on many items, and on the other hand, when other countries retaliate, he provides billions of dollars of corporate welfare to those affected by these tariffs, and of course, he claims victory for this ridiculous, wasteful situation.
Democrats seem to be void of original ideas except splintering their party. Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez are favorites among those folks who do not realize that socialism has never worked because it is fundamentally flawed. The idea of taking from the “rich” and giving to the poor doesn’t work. Eventually, the “rich” sees no incentives to produce, and there is nothing to give to the poor.
I visited the former Soviet Union in 1976 with a study group from MIT. Though the government ensured we saw what they wanted us to see, I saw enough and reviewed sufficient data that showed it did not work. Nevertheless, we need no more confirmation than it collapsed (1922-1991).
We Must Rein in Wall Street
To be sure, Wall Street needs to be reined in and stop its narrow focus on the short term that causes greedy CEO’s to make bad choices. We need more shareholders’ activism to tame these CEO’s. Health care costs need to be more affordable. Post-secondary education needs to be run more efficiently, be more affordable, and most of all, be relevant and worthwhile. We can achieve these goals in the capitalist system provided we stop playing politics and move beyond the present ideological debates between Republicans and Democrats. People’s lives are at stake! It’s not all state control or all private control. We need practical solutions that put people first; we don’t need rhetoric from politicians concerned primarily with their careers.
Let’s create an environment where we can debate each others’ views instead of each party claiming a monopoly on knowledge. Why can’t we accept that some people are pro-life and some are pro-choice? Does every university student need to be pro-choice? Why must everyone embrace liberal issues or be labeled a bigot? It is time we stop being so divisive (Trump majors on this), start loving, respecting, listening to each other, and accepting one another as he and she is. After all, we are all made in the image of God!
The US Economy Grew Rapidly In The Second Quarter
The US economy recorded significant gains in the second quarter, and naturally, Trump claimed victory. He doesn’t realize much of the increases came about because companies pre-ordered many items ahead of his stupid tariffs. Note how Trump reacts next quarter when the economy does much worse than last quarter because of his tariffs. As the master of deflection, he will find a way to take credit for ‘something’ that prevented the economy from sinking even lower.
Let’s pray for Trump and pray for God’s will in spite of his erratic actions. Meanwhile, expect interest rates to continue to rise slowly, and stock markets to remain volatile.
© 2018 Michel A. Bell