Markets, Choice, and the Economic Illiteracy of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn

March 5, 2018

And it’s not just Sanders and Corbyn: most of the Left seems to have almost deliberately forgotten basic economics.

International Liberty

Not all leftists are alike.

I speculated a couple of years ago that there were four types of statists and put them on a spectrum. I put “rational leftists” at one end. If you wanted to pick a nation that represents this mindset, think Sweden. Nice, civilized, market-oriented, but plenty of redistribution.

On the other end of the spectrum were three less-palatable types.

  1. The “totalitarians,” which means a dictatorial state-run economy, as represented by the Soviet Union and China.
  2. The “socialists,” a democratically elected form of a state-run economy, as represented by post-WWII United Kingdom.
  3. The “crazies,” which I confess is a catch-all category to capture visceral, unthinking, and punitive intervention.

And for that final category, I listed Bernie Sanders and Greece as representatives.

And if you want to know why I listed Sanders, here’s some of Jeffrey Tucker’s FEE column from 2015.

Bernie Sanders, that sweet old…

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(Video) Protester to @HillaryClinton – “You are evil and guilty!”

April 16, 2016

But, really, tell me something I don’t know:

The Free Beacon explains:

Two protestors interrupted a Hillary Clinton campaign event on Saturday, with one being escorted out after shouting that the Democratic presidential frontrunner is “evil” and “guilty.”

Clinton was speaking to a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles when two individuals separately protested the rally and her candidacy. One man could be heard shouting, “She is guilty, she is guilty, she is evil,” as security removed him from the event.

Supposedly these were Sanders supporters. If so, take note of this moment: it is the one time I will probably ever agree with Bernie Sanders fans on anything.

Bipartisanship at last!

“Black Lives Matter” to host Democrat townhall, popcorn sales skyrocket

October 22, 2015

satire cat with popcorn

Oh, this should be entertaining:

The Democratic National Committee, which has not budged after numerous calls for more scheduled presidential debates, has approved a town hall that will feature Democratic presidential candidates and will be hosted by leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The town hall will focus on race-related issues and is being heralded as an opportunity for the Democratic candidates to address issues such as racism in America.

“We believe that your organization would be an ideal host for a presidential candidate forum — where all of the Democratic candidates can showcase their ideas and policy positions that will expand opportunity for all, strengthen the middle class and address racism in America,” DNC CEO Amy K. Dacey said in a letter to sent to the activists.

“Black Lives Matter” has become (in)famous for its “activism” in the wake of some notorious killings of Black men by police, such as the shooting in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Which, by the way, was justified.) They’ve driven Bernie Sanders from the stage, taking over his campaign event to demand obeisance to their leftist, racialist agenda. And, at the recent Democratic debate, the candidates (except for Jim Webb) were intimidated into agreeing that “Black lives matter” after candidate O’Malley had been forced to apologize for earlier saying the anodyne and utterly true “all lives matter.”

And now they’re going to be asking the questions of *all* the remaining candidates (1)? Given that the Democratic party anymore is nothing but a congeries of interest groups to be pandered to with no unifying principles, the groveling from Hillary and the Three Dwarfs (2) should be… memorable.

PS: I wonder if any of the candidates will have the gumption to ask the moderators if a Black life still matters, when that Black man is a cop killed by another Black man? Nah. Not from this crowd.

PPS: No, I’m not excusing genuine police abuse or violence against anyone. A cop who abuses his power or takes a life without just cause should be severely punished. But “Black Lives Matters” conveniently ignores that the majority of Black deaths by violence are caused by other Blacks, leading one to doubt their stated agenda. Don’t these lives matter?

(1) Jim Webb withdrew from the race after the debate, having found, as had Ronald Reagan, that he hadn’t left the Democratic Party. The party had left him.
(2) These being Sanders, O’Malley, and Chaffee. You will be forgiven for wondering “who?” at the last two.


Go ahead, progressives, do it. Primary Obama.

August 1, 2011

It’s no secret that a lot of people are unhappy with the debt deal taking shape in Washington. For conservatives and other adults, there’s disappointment that there’s no requirement to pass a balanced budget amendment, no entitlement reform, and not nearly enough spending cuts. On top of that, it authorizes further extensive borrowing, and there’s a danger of a tax trap. (For reasons to be satisfied, even if not happy, see Pethokoukis and Bradley. And you can put me in this camp, too.)

But large segments of the Left are unhappy, too, because spending gets cut (even if it’s just a slowing in the rate of growth of spending) and they don’t get their binky tax increases. The Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus are just livid with Obama’s bowing to those “Tea Party extremists” and are planning a press conference today to demand he violate the Constitution by pretending the 14th amendment allows him to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. And if he doesn’t…?

Are you ready for Bernie 2012?

But Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is not [satisfied]. In an interview with liberal talker Thom Hartmann on Friday, Sanders spoke out very aggressively about the possibility of Obama facing a challenge from his left for the Democratic nomination.

“Well, at this point I have not,” Sanders said. “But I am now giving thought to doing it. You know, I think you know the names out there as well as I do. And I think the American people have got to be engaged. It’s not just me or anybody else here in Washington. There are a lot of smart honest progressive people who I think can be good presidents.”

Sanders said such a challenge was necessary since in his estimation, the president had begun to take his position as the party leader for granted.

I can genuinely sympathize, since we know the White House is thinking “Where are they going to go?” No one likes to be taken for granted. (1) But a Sanders candidacy? Sanders may be the only open Socialist in the Senate (the House, on the other hand…), but I’m willing to bet that, when asked who Bernie Sanders is, eight out of ten Americans would ask “who?” and the ninth would think he’s a colonel who sells chicken. While improbable insurgent candidacies have happened before –Gene McCarthy’s surprising strength lead LBJ to withdraw– it’s hard to imagine our Montpelier Marxist developing the Big Mo.

And yet the discontent with Obama on the Left is real, so, who else might? Your guess is as good as mine. Jesse Jackson is yesterday’s news; besides, he’d probably like to do something else to Obama. Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold might do it (or not); while he lost his bid for reelection, his progressive/social democrat credentials are near-golden and he’s usually a good campaigner. While he wouldn’t win the nomination (2), a la Kennedy in 1980 he could mount a strong challenge. That would force the President to move left to defend his base, setting up a greater contrast with the eventual Republican nominee and probably costing him more of those independents he is already in trouble with.

Darn. That would be awful, wouldn’t it? (3)

So, come on Bernie, Russ, or whoever. Do it. Do it for True Progressivism. Do it for your party. Do it for your country. Do it… for the children.

Primary The One.

(1) Like, say, the way the Democrats take African Americans wholly for granted. Someday they’re going to wise up to this.
(2) No way the Party would ever let Obama be thrown under the bus. They’d lose most of the Black vote in a flash, and without bloc-voting by African Americans, the Democrats never win another national election.
(3) Yeah, I know the Obama machine would eventually put down an insurgency, but it sure would be fun to watch them have to waste time and money.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)