I won’t have to stop socialism. Like all Leftist ideas, it dies by suicide once it has taken over. Preventing it is a sound practice because the resulting dumpster fire creates massive collateral damage. But doesn’t the arc of history bend in the general direction Chthulu tends to swim? Progress always leads to the Left. Don’t wind up the wrong side of history! What could possibly stop socialism?
One problem is that free stuff still costs money. Just because a politician tells you that you won’t have to pay for it doesn’t mean that the cost winks out of existence. One example of this unpleasant reality is the Mercatus Center cost estimate of Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All proposal.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan would boost government health spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, requiring historic tax hikes, says a study released Monday by a university-based libertarian policy center. That’s trillion with a “T.” The latest plan from the Vermont independent would deliver significant savings on administration and drug costs, but increased demand for care would drive up spending, according to the analysis by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia. Doubling federal individual and corporate income tax receipts would not cover the full cost, the study said.
Senator Sanders did not appreciate the scrutiny. I’ve done cost estimates for a living for over a decade. As Senator Sanders responded to the severe rebuke implicit in the bottom line, I couldn’t help but chuckle. His reaction was remarkably typical.
Responding to the study, Sanders took aim at the Mercatus Center, which receives funding from the conservative Koch brothers. Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch is on the center’s board. “If every major country on earth can guarantee health care to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same,” Sanders said in a statement. “This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a ‘Medicare for all’ program.” Sanders’ office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said. His 2016 presidential campaign website cites an estimated price tag of $1.38 trillion a year for an earlier version of the plan, but other studies have projected much higher costs.
Sanders is a classic case study in the tyranny of good intentions. Who could possibly be against Medicare for All? All they have to do is just figure out the math and make it work. Maybe you don’t have to have it all worked out. Maybe you could just believe. “We’re a rich country,” Chris Hayes remarks. “We’ll figure it out.” A decade or so ago, so was Venezuela.
But you guys can all relax and just go with the flow. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sat down with a Nobel Prize-Winning economist. The whole problem with Lenin’s “Land, Peace, and Bread” slogan was the modesty. She tells Trevor Noah the answers to all of the problems in the world.
“This is an excellent, excellent question,” she replied. “I sat down with a Nobel Prize economist last week — I can’t believe I can say that, it’s really weird — But one of the things that we saw is, if people pay their fair share, if corporations and the ultra wealthy — for example, as Warren Buffett likes to say, if he pays as much as his secretary paid, 15 percent tax rate, if corporations paid — if we reverse the tax bill, raised our corporate tax rate to 28 percent … if we do those two things and also close some of those loopholes, that’s $2 trillion right there.” She also said it would take $3 trillion to $4 trillion and a carbon tax to create a “renewable energy economy” and claimed the Trump tax cut bill prevents the wealthiest Americans from paying “their fair share.” “One of the wide estimates is that it’s going to take $3 trillion to $4 trillion to transition us to 100 percent renewable economy,” she continued.
I actually hope these two are serious, earnest, and deluded. I tend to prefer Leftists who are stupid to those who are subtly evil. Once they discover how to weaponize envy, racism and class warfare become their force multipliers. Once they demonize and freeze a target, the major divides that keep them out of power are ignored. Burning witches is fun and gives you a nice, cozy fire to cook the gubbermint hot dogs.
But the scheme is eventually laid to nines. There are two ways Socialism can fail.
Option one is hard. You have to tell several billion good but simple people why they are stupid. They tend not to appreciate this even if you are patient, and call them stupid in the kindest way possible. The people then riot and you end up having to make like Napoleon and aim the artillery pieces at them.
Option two is actually worse. The artillery tends to be aimed at people who are minding their own business and trying to do their jobs. Socialists are frequently disappointed in you for not having more that they can steal. They consider this a gratuitous lack of generosity. Things start to go Pol Pot once the Visigoth Holiday runs out of taxpayers and beer.
Socialism will forever fail. The question is whether you are dumb enough to be on that ship when it goes down like The Andria Dora. The Left is seeing their death train rolling down the tracks. They will get worse and more occasionally-cortexed. They will grow violent. The success around them will increasingly constitute a SHTF Event for their ideological imaginary kingdom. Maxine Waters Syndrome becomes more virulent among the Zombie Left. Eventually, they have to admit they don’t have $T32 sitting around between the sofa cushions.
As the bell tolls for socialism, the separation is coming. You can’t live with socialists and you can neither feed nor shoot them all. Freedom of Association and restoration of consequentialism are both needed. Freedom of Association allows you to put some distance between you and the worst of the worst. The restoration of consequentialism makes the salvageable portion of socialists either change — or die.