Is Obama a Socialist?by Stephen Gordon
Writing that “Calling Barack Obama’s plan socialistic lacks any class,” Albor Ruiz argues that “fear mongering over a ‘class war’ and an Obama conspiracy to turn the U.S. into a ‘socialist’ country is reaching a fever pitch.”
He then cites “Tax Hike Mike” Huckabee as an example:
Huckabee, no doubt, takes the cake. “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff,” he has said with quasi-religious fervor. “The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead, but a Union of American Socialist Republics is being born.”
First of all, citing Huckabee was a mistake, as he’s part of the problem and clearly not part of the solution.
My favored definition of socialism comes from Merriam-Webster: “ any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
This seems to describe the current administration, but there are other definitions which may or may not apply, as well.
If we are to pick an accurate word to describe Obama’s (to be fair, Bush laid the foundations which hadn’t already been established by previous administrations) designs on our children’s and even their children’s money, what should it be? If we are to better describe Obama’s move towards what Karl Marx called “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax,” how would we do it?
“Abolition of all right of inheritance?” There is already talk of Obama toying with the Death Tax.
We may have moved from the Agrarian Age to the Information Age, but an “extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State” seems to apply to AIG fairly well. If seventeen percent of our gross domestic spending is on health care, additional government control of this industry would certainly apply. Control of the automobile industry clearly involves factories and instruments of production. While Obama has backed off his call for a Car Czar, the fact remains that he certainly made the attempt and likely will again if he gets the opportunity.
“Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.” Bush got a good start on transporation with the implementation of various TSA schemes and implementation of the Fairness Doctrine would move us closer to Marxism on the communications front.
While “a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly,” may not precisely describe the Federal Reserve, for many intents and purposes it does.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seem a major starting point for “centralisation of credit in the hands of the State.” Purchasing shares and attaching federal strings to bank bailouts is certainly a big move in this direction.
Perhaps Mr. Ruiz is correct. Should we be calling Obama’s attempted takeover of major portions of our economy while further redistributing the wealth socialist or Marxist? Not that one necessarily excludes the other.
In reality, it all boils down to one simple question: Does it really matter if we call current policy socialism or a crap sandwich? It tastes the same either way.