Boudreaux on Obama's "Socialism-lite"
I was tempted to put this in the other "Barack the Redistributor" posting, but it's such an important article I decided to post a separate link to it. This article is by Don Boudreaux, Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University, one of the best economics departments in the nation, complete with Walter Williams, Bryan Caplan, Russ Roberts, and Nobel Laureate James Buchanan. Don is a non-partisan loather of politicians and does not write this article because he's promoting John McCain. One of the main objections I get from liberals when I call Obama a socialist is that his explicit desire for redistribution doesn't fit precisely in the dictionary definition of the word which revolves more around ownership of enterprises. I have argued that redistribution is such a fundamental aspect of socialism that the liberals' argument is a distinction without a difference. My reading of Boudreaux's article is that he agrees with me. I'd also like to emphasize a paragraph in the article:
Consider the words of longtime Socialist Party of America presidential candidate Norman Thomas: "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened." In addition to Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlement programs, the gathering political momentum toward single-payer healthcare – which Obama has proclaimed is his ultimate goal – shows the prescience of Thomas's words.See "Is Barack Obama really a socialist?", Don Boudreaux, Christian Science Monitor, 10/30/08 http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1030/p09s01-coop.html By the way, Don writes a letter to the editor of a newspaper almost daily and distributes them to an e-mail list. They're short, to the point, and generally brilliant. If you're interested in being added to the e-mail list, please let me know by e-mail at email@example.com or by message or comment from this page.
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