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

Monday, February 03, 2020


If you are to believe the polls, Bernie Sanders is the front runner in Iowa. This weekend's media narrative tells us that a "massive" political rally was held supporting him (if you believe that 3,000 people is a massive attendance at a political rally—it isn't) and the country (particularly young people, are "ready for socialism." If you listen to Bernie Sanders (or his acolyte and darling of millennials, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), it's the evil capitalists who have enslaved (AOC's characterization) the workers of the world while they sit on their couches (again, more brilliance from AOC) and become BILLIONAIRES!!!

Then again, I'm sure the Bernie and Liz, AOC and the rest of the Squad spread this garbage because they're simply ignorant of the facts, not because they want to gain power and control over us all (well ... maybe not that sure).

Anyhow, the Issues and Insights Editorial Board provides a little illumination:
To the extent that there are any free-market capitalists left in the Democratic Party, it’s possible that they are true believers because they’ve seen the data, which make it abundantly clear that capitalism has been the greatest anti-poverty program ever conceived by mankind.

The Brookings Institution, a center-left think tank in Washington, D.C., found that, “for the first time since agriculture-based civilization began 10,000 years ago, the majority of humankind is no longer poor or vulnerable to falling into poverty.”

The report – which came out more than a year ago – showed that more than 50% of the world’s population lived in households with enough discretionary income to be considered middle class or rich.

More specifically, it found that there were 3.59 billion people in the middle class in 2017, and 200 million who are rich. At the other end, there are 3.2 billion they classify as “vulnerable” and 630 million who are poor.

Based on current trends, over the next decade, the middle-class population will climb by 1.7 billion while the number who are poor or vulnerable will go down by more than 1 billion.

The authors called it “something of enormous global significance” that “is happening almost without notice.” And they are right.

It’s a tipping point. But not the kind of tipping point that the left would ever want to acknowledge.
But, but, but ... socialism is so au courant. After all, who wouldn't want to institute an ideology from the early/mid-20th century that has failed every time it's been tried and impoverished those who originally clamored for it.

And given that simple reality, panic is beginning to set in within the elites of the Democratic party. James Freeman provides some encouraging information:
Are voters in the most prosperous country in the world really going to endorse the economic revolution promised by Sen. Bernie Sanders? Vermont’s most famous Marxist has been rising in polls of Democratic voters participating in tonight’s Iowa Caucus and next week’s New Hampshire primary. But the senator’s ideology still isn’t popular. Even within the Democratic party, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds that most voters aren’t backing socialism ...

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds that 52% of Americans have a positive “feeling” about capitalism, while 18% have a negative feeling and 24% are neutral. Support for the market system that has allowed the creation of the world’s greatest economy may seem disturbingly low, but the numbers have recently been stable. A September 2018 survey yielded almost exactly the same results. And then as now, capitalism still enjoys plurality support even among Democrats.

Support for socialism, meanwhile, has remained about the same as in 2018. Among all voters, 19% have a positive feeling about socialism, 53% express a negative view and 24% are neutral. Like capitalism, socialism inspires good feelings among a plurality of Democrats, but this only amounts to about a third of Democrats who express a positive feeling about socialism. Among those who intend to vote in Democratic primaries, about 40% express a positive view.

Again, these numbers may seem disturbingly high to some but regular consumers of cable news and Twitter may be surprised to learn that AOC-style big government doesn’t inspire most Democratic primary voters.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I hope that Bernie Sanders gets the nomination. It's time that the voters decide whether socialism is something that this country needs. Despite the promises of free stuff and the incendiary rhetoric, I suspect that Bernie would be crushed in a general election. And that just might free up the Democratic party to re-enter the mainstream of American politics.