With their secret internal polls apparently showing it may be political suicide that 57 percent of its voters now view socialism positively, but only 47 percent view capitalism favorably, the Democratic Party's bosses are having their media comrades attempt a new party line.
"Socialism does not mean government control," their new propaganda line goes. "When young people favor 'Socialism,' they merely mean the restoration of liberalism with a bit more welfare for the poor and a bit more social justice for the downtrodden. It's nothing to be afraid of."
This attempt to sanitize the Democrats' rapid shift and candidate scramble towards socialism is nonsense. As P.J. O'Rourke rightly said, "Liberalism is just Marxism sold by the drink." Both ideologies intend, in the end, to transfer all of America's power and wealth from private hands to government fists.
The Framers distrusted political parties, giving them no role or even mention in our Constitution. Parties were "faction," empowering themselves by sowing division and disharmony – or as Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's radical hero Saul Alinsky would later say, by "polarizing" voters. Unlike the Framers, political party animals crave ever-more power for themselves by making government ever bigger and more intrusive.
One likely Democratic 2020 presidential nominee is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. She conspired to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which circumvented the Constitution by being outside congressional control. The CFPB had all the heavy regulatory powers of a government bureaucracy, but it was funded not by Congress but directly by the quasi-private Federal Reserve. It therefore could not be reined in by the purse strings of the democratically elected representatives of the people.
Days ago, Senator Warren again revealed the collectivist feudalism Democrats desire by presenting her "Accountable Capitalism Act" – which Investor's Business Daily (IBD) more accurately called the "Capitalism Destruction Act."
Under Warren's proposed law, "American corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue must obtain a federal charter from a newly formed Office of United States Corporations. … The new federal charter obligates company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders – including employees, customers, shareholders, and the communities in which the company operates."
This, editorialized IDB, would mean that "instead of focusing on maximizing returns for the owners of the companies, corporations would have to consider things like the environment, racial justice, community activists, workers and whatever else Warren decides to stuff into that impossibly vague 'stakeholders' term."
In other words, Senator Warren "proposes to nationalize every major business in the United States of America," writes Kevin D. Williamson. This would be "the largest seizure of private property in human history."
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Warren's "Accountable Capitalism Act" would make every major business "accountable to politicians, who desire to put the assets and productivity of private businesses under political discipline for their own selfish ends."
The federal government, he continues, would "dictate to these businesses the composition of their boards, the details of internal corporate governance, compensation practices, personnel policies, and much more. … Senator Warren's proposal entails the wholesale expropriation of private enterprise in the United States and nothing less."
Under Warren's decree, we can forget about the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling and any corporate right of free speech it affirmed. Her measure "prohibits United States corporations from making any political expenditures without the approval of 75 percent of its directors and shareholders," with "40 percent of its directors … selected by the corporation's [often unionized] employees." With capitalism silenced, socialism could dominate politics.
"It seems likely that literally trillions of paper stock market wealth could be eliminated," said gleeful leftist writer Matt Yglesias, "by weakening shareholder hegemony in this way." It would certainly give corporations a huge reason to move their operations and jobs out of the U.S., or to reorganize themselves inefficiently into many independent corporations, each generating far less than a billion dollars in annual revenues to escape Warren's law.
America prospered when we had two pro-capitalist, practical and centrist political parties. But today one of those two parties has been hijacked by anti-capitalist extremists. This turns every election into Russian roulette, where a Democrat victory could mean soaring business taxes, regulations and the mass expropriation of private property.
This puts what monetary expert Craig R. Smith and I have called "donkey drag" on the economy. Fearful investors hesitate to create or enlarge companies or hire more employees. We estimate that this drag slows economic growth by 25 percent of what it might be in a politically secure free enterprise marketplace of the kind America used to have.
Lowell Ponte is a former Reader's Digest Roving Editor. His latest book co-authored with Craig R. Smith, "Money, Morality & the Machine," reveals how bad money drives good morals out of society and how you can protect your family from the future of "Star Trekonomics." For a free, postpaid copy, call toll-free 800-630-1492.