(The Nation) -- “Socialism,” says New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, is responsible for the disaster in Venezuela—and, he writes, it’s the future that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the United States and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain have in store for you, if they have their way.
For a decade now, following the financial crash of 2008, with economic inequality calcifying, there’s been a shift in conceptions of citizenship in the United States. Poll after poll reveals that young people are broadening their notion of rights beyond individual rights—to property, to assemble, to speech, to worship—to also embrace social rights: to health care, to education, and to other services that would allow for a dignified life. There’s growing acceptance that the government needs to take action to reduce inequality, reflected in Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for a wealth tax, Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a top marginal tax right of 70 percent, and Bernie Sanders’s repeated reminders that the nation’s economic oligarchy enjoys monopoly political power. Eric Levitz just pointed out in New York magazine that Ocasio-Cortez’s tax proposal is in line with at least one current of founding-father thought: “America’s first political theorists took these truths to be self-evident: that a person could not exercise political liberty if he did not possess a modicum of economic autonomy, and that disparities in wealth inevitably produced disparities of political power.”
What does all this have to do with Venezuela?
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