The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Power and Greed

It looks like 77 year old Bernie Sanders is gearing up for another run at the presidency. Sanders, the godfather of "democratic socialists" is ramping up his class warfare rhetoric, using the same tired tropes used by all socialists over the past 100 years. Catherine Clifford reports (and editorializes):
The power and greed of billionaires in the United States is threatening the country.

So says Bernie Sanders, the 77-year-old senator from Vermont who tried unsuccessfully to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

“We live in a nation owned and controlled by a small number of multi-billionaires whose greed, incredible greed, insatiable greed, is having an unbelievably negative impact on the fabric of our entire country,” Sanders told Paul Jay, CEO and senior editor of The Real News Network, in an interview posted Thursday.

Sanders, who has become a political figurehead for the liberal end of the Democratic Party, said billionaires and their greed are to blame for any number of social problems in the United States.

“When we deal with climate change, when we deal with the economy, when we deal with housing, when we deal with criminal justice or immigration issues, we have got to deal with those in a holistic way, and understand why all of that is happening. Not see them as silo-ized separate issues,” Sanders said. “A lot of that has to do” with the pervasive power of the ultra rich in this country, he said.

It is the responsibility of America to look at the extreme gap between the rich and the poor, Sanders said.
In the run-up to his takeover of Venezuela 20 years ago, Hugo Chavez said essentially the same thing. He demonized the rich in Venezuela, told the "poor" that their lives would improve, and suggested that his path would lead to a utopian existence in which everyone would be "equal." He promised better healthcare, better education, better ... everything. That's not how it worked out.

Oh by the way, Chevez died a billionaire, having stolen about $2 billion from his country. But nevermind—the dictates suggested by class warfare are always aimed at others, never the leaders of the socialist movement.

Bernie's rhetoric is powerful but empty—not because he's alway wrong—he does identify systemic problems, but because his "solutions" would wreck our economy and hurt the "poor" and the "middle class" in exactly the same way Chavez (and later Maduro) ravaged those constituencies in Venezuela. The problems associated with income distribution in a society cannot be solved through confiscatory taxation, oppressive government controls, excessive regulation, and the demonization of those who create companies, employ millions, and spur economic growth. But demonization is the lingua franca of class warfare, and class warfare is the only strategy that socialists have.