12/07/2018

What The New Socialists In Congress Need To Know About Poverty

Xavier Underwood, Daily Signal

In a few short weeks, America will welcome the 116th Congress.

Among the loud and celebrated voices in the new Congress are those who not only accept socialism as a viable option for America, but also those who celebrate their ties to organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America. Incoming Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are members of the Democratic Socialists of America who will caucus with the Democrats.

Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib no longer represent a fringe movement on the left. An August 2018 Gallup poll revealed that over the last two years, capitalism has taken a dive while socialism has soared among 18- to 29-year-olds.

I believe the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gave socialism a countercultural boost among my generation. Millennials suffer under the weight of crushing student loan debt and a deteriorating safety net from employers who will pay them less than their parents earned. It is within this economic context that a system promising to create parity among citizens looks attractive.

The danger with popularizing socialism is that it sounds reasonable, but it never works. It often comes with the best of intentions: to reduce poverty. But there are simply no examples of it working to reduce poverty long term.

Baby boomers are far more skeptical of socialism. They have lived long enough to see attempts at socialism fail, while capitalism has opened doors of opportunity.

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4,000 Years Of Price Control

Tablets, said to be 200 years older than the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi ... show that the ancient kingdom of Eshnunna had wage control and price control. The news ought not to have come as a surprise. For the code of Hammurabi itself (unearthed in 1902), which was promulgated earlier than 2000 B.C., fixed prices, wages, interest rates, and fees. This makes price control at least about 4,000 years old. ...

 

Ironically, it is those who now wish to return to this ancient totalitarian device who are fondest of calling themselves “progressives.” They are also fond of saying that those who believe in economic liberty “are living in the nineteenth century.” These controlists have yet to learn that they themselves are still living, as the discoveries in Babylonia attest, in the nineteenth century—B.C.!

-- Henry Hazlitt,

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