Richard Wolff has posted on his website, the article Prof. Wolff on The Street: Bernie Sanders’ Brand of Socialism — More Karl Marx or FDR?
Prof. Wolff is an expert on Socialism, so he does a good job explaining many things about Bernie Sanders and Socialism. The excerpt below isn’t necessarily his best words, but they are an introduction.
To see just how big the disconnect is on the surface, consider this: Although nearly half of Americans say they wouldn’t vote for a socialist, Sanders not only gained campaign contributions after the first Democratic primary debate, some online polls and focus groups declared him the winner.
In other words, plenty of people like Sanders’ ideas, if not the “socialist” label.
In a purely socialist economy, the public (read: the government) controls the means of production, and revenue is shared with everyone. In a capitalist system, individuals control the means of production and can, if they choose, keep all of the income.
Most governments, regardless of how they describe their countries, fall somewhere in between.
There are two statements in the article that I think are way off the mark however.
3. — Social Programs. While the U.S. already offers programs like Medicare and Social Security that fall outside a purely capitalist system, Sanders said he would push for more, like child-care and pre-kindergarten programs, and expand Social Security. Admittedly, the only way such programs would be approved by a Republican-controlled Congress is if Americans insisted on them, he said.
The drawback: “Congress has no resources of its very own,” said Williams. “That money coming out of Washington to pay for health care, food, housing, does not represent Congress reaching into their own pockets to send that money out.”
The last paragraph in the excerpt above quotes Dr. Walter Williams, an economist at George Mason University. There are several other ignorant statements in the article by Williams prior to this one. Dr. Williams fails to mention that money coming out of Washington to pay for health care, food, housing is created by the independent government entity known as the Federal Reserve Bank. Don’t argue with me over whether or not the FED is a part of the government. I have the evidence to prove you wrong.
The second item I take issue with Prof. Wolf is the following:
Socialism, on the other hand, attempts to create equal opportunities. It redistributes money from the wealthy to the poor and middle classes to bridge the income gap, largely by taxing the rich at a higher rate.
Under the current circumstances the redistribution of wealth is from the wealthy, who stole it from the middle-class and poor, back to the people from whom it never should have been allowed to be stolen in the first place. In other words the money being redistributed is money that rightfully belongs to the middle-class and the poor because it was taken from them by fraudulent means. Hey, middle-class and poor people, it’s your money, do you want it back, or should we let the rich keep it?