Reportedly, it was the millennials who put "Democratic" Socialist Bernie Sanders to a near dead-heat tie for first in Iowa. (I use scare quotes around "Democratic" because as legendary campaign manager James Carville helpfully pointed out to Sean Illing, writing at Vox recently, "Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue.")
Per John McCormack at National Review, "In Iowa, Bernie’s Youth Movement Showed Up While Generation X Flaked Out":
"According to Iowa entrance polls, voters under 30 comprised 24 percent of the caucus-going electorate — up six points from 2016 and one point better than 2008, when young voters carried Barack Obama to victory. Those voters preferred Sanders to Buttigieg by nearly 30 points, 48 percent to 19 percent, as did voters age 30-44 by ten points, 33 percent to 23 percent."
Yikes! Are our kids turning into a pink tide? Or is their newfound infatuation with socialism just an overblown "red scare?"
OK, boomers, capitalism has been defamed by its enemies, both "foreign" (socialism) and "domestic" (cronyism).
As for the latter capitalism has been somewhat traduced and subverted by rich people who game the system that made them rich into making them absurdly richer.
That said, true capitalism is adamant about liberty and justice for all. Capitalism, the real deal, is all about rewarding merit — rewarding those who contribute to the general welfare by making desirable goods and services affordable, and, with that, creating jobs — rather than rewarding status.
A system that rewards people based on their social status is called feudalism. Socialism and cultural Marxism are just lipstick on the pig of feudalism.
Cronyism is mere feudalism too.
As Adam Smith wrote in the original bible of free market capitalism, "Wealth of Nations," Book I, Chapter I, "It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people."
These words serve as the epigram and leitmotif of a recently published book, "The Capitalist Manifesto," of which I am co-author. True capitalism is all about uplifting the poor — as well as workers — as well as the affluent — through the ethical use of their God-given talents.
True Capitalism is, in a word to which the left gives lavish lip service, inclusive.
Bonus! Capitalism (unlike Socialism) has been shown repeatedly to actually work in practice. Imperfectly, to be sure, but better than everything else ever tried.
If the economy is not working to uplift the poor, making working people financially secure with dignity, and supporting the ecology of the planet, it’s not real Capitalism. It’s just some big business interest culturally appropriating our Capitalist brand. Adam Smith foresaw this too. He called it mercantilism. It was and is antithetical to free markets. Smith, in "Wealth of Nations," Book IV, Chapter VIII:
"It cannot be very difficult to determine who have been the contrivers of this whole mercantile system; not the consumers, we may believe, whose interest has been entirely neglected; but the producers, whose interest has been so carefully attended to; and among this latter class our merchants and manufacturers have been by far the principal architects."
So, go easy, millennials. Real capitalism, not socialism, would power your way out of student debt and your childhood bedroom in your parent's house. The cure for your, and our, current doldrums is to replace the current faux capitalism with the real deal.
Meanwhile, oh my friends and dear old anticommunist comrades-in-arms, please go easy on the millennials. This is an age-old phenomenon.
Witness, yet again, youthful idealism and sweet naïveté at play.
This is not the the decline and fall of western civilization.
Per Quote Investigator:
"An excited supporter burst into the private chambers of the old tiger Clemenceau one day and cried, 'Your son has just joined the Communist Party.' Clemenceau regarded his visitor calmly and remarked, 'Monsieur, my son is 22 years old. If he had not become a Communist at 22, I would have disowned him. If he is still a Communist at 30, I will do it then.'"
I am the vastly right-wing father of four wonderful children. My beloved daughters Jessica and Sarah are delightfully apolitical. My beloved 21-year-old son David is (last I heard) infatuated with Bernie. If he were not, I’d disown him. My beloved 32-year old son Michael is out canvassing for Mayor Pete, a social democrat not a "Democratic" Socialist.
No need to disown him, either. (A raised eyebrow will suffice.)
A youthful flirtation with socialism is endearing, not threatening, and is a tradition.
Socialism offers a wonderful, if inevitably heartbreaking, romantic fling.
For happily ever after? Bring on capitalism.
Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $83T. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House, has worked closely with the Congress and two cabinet agencies, and has published over a million words on politics and policy in the mainstream media, as a distinguished professional blogger, and as the author of the internationally award-winning cult classic book "The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World." He has served as senior adviser, economics, to APIA as an advocate of the gold standard, senior counselor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and serves as general counsel to Frax.finance, a stablecoin venture. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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