By Keith Nobles
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was on television last night and made a lot of statements gaining social media play this morning.
The most important, other than implying the world will end in twelve years if we do not all do as she says, is her assertion that billionaires should not exist if there is extreme poverty. Also making the social media rounds yesterday was an article claiming that 26 billionaires have more money than 3.8 million people, with the implication that this is somehow morally wrong.
Let us examine these notions.
Reality is that, beginning about 1992 until today, global poverty has been reduced in absolute terms more than it had been reduced in all of history up until 1992.
Let that sink in.
I would say that is a spectacular success.
To what do we owe this success?
1991 saw the final dissolution of the Soviet Union and the immediate global decline of socialism. That the decline of socialism occurring simultaneously with the greatest decline in poverty is not coincidental. It is cause-and-effect.
Socialism receded and market economies grew and poverty was reduced more substantially than in all of history.
In the face of this reality we have the modern day Progressives and ‘democratic socialist’ calling for a return to socialism as – and this is close to peak absurdity – a means on resolving poverty.
Socialism is the leading cause of poverty around the globe and the stark and stunning contrast between socialist and market economies in the quality of life, life expectancies, material wealth and – this is critical – wealth inequality is undeniable.
If you want to live a long time, be healthy, be wealthy and have less wealth inequality then you want a market economy and not a socialist economy.
Progressives and socialist such as Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris would lead you to believe it was the exact opposite.
I will leave it to you to decide if they are indescribably obtuse or simply dishonest.
I will point out, no one is particularly fond of most of these billionaires, they are often ego-driven ass holes.
However, that they have more money has absolutely nothing to do with you having less money. The economic ignorance here is staggering. People latch onto a fictional idea, no matter how ridiculous, and then repeat it endlessly as though it were fact. Among the most ridiculous ideas is that the rich are ‘hoarding’ wealth. Exactly how do you hoard wealth? Do you think Bill Gates has his kitchen pantry stuffed with stacks of twenties?
Of course not. What the people claiming that the rich are ‘hoarding wealth’ intend is that some people and corporations maintain off-shore accounts in order to limit their tax liability. What is the Progressives brilliant idea to solve this problem? Raise taxes. I kid you not. They complain about money kept off-shore to escape the excessive tax rates in the United States and then propose raising taxes as though that would not exacerbate the problem.
It is that absurd. It is that naive. It is that ignorant.
What Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris and others of their ilk preach is on the one hand the politics of envy. Their essential argument is that anyone who has a dollar more than you must be punished for that situation. It is somehow inherently immoral for anyone to have more than you.
On the flip side of this argument is that Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and Harris declare that they should control your wealth and your health and your behavior. Only they are of sufficient moral and intellectual fortitude to make it ‘fair’ – not you, them.
One more important aside, while Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and Harris point to European monarchies with welfare states attached as their examples – that is not what they argue in favor of. Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and Harris argue in favor of Marxism and they are betting that their supporters are too uneducated to realize that. It is a bait-and-switch argument that they make.
Once again, choose wisely…