Boundless hypocrisy

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Here’s another right-wing commentary by Thomas Sowell. This time his lies and his hatred are directed at Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

Everything that Sowell has said during his life has been based on the fundamental lie represented by the image above. Namely the lie that the U.S. government can only help one person by hurting some other person.

Note, by the way, that Sowell never attacks Hillary Clinton, since they both have identical opinions.

Many people of mature years are amazed at how many young people have voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders, and are enthusiastic about the socialism he preaches.

Sanders is not a socialist, since he does not call for the nationalization of any industry. Sanders merely advocates an expansion of Medicare, a rise in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, a youth jobs program to create 1 million jobs for young Americans; and a five-year project to put 13 million Americans to work in good-paying jobs rebuilding roads, bridges and railways.

Sowell thinks this is outrageous. But instead of explaining why, he just calls Sanders a “socialist,” which in the USA is like calling someone a mass murderer.

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Sowell claims that “many people of mature years” agree with him. Would these “mature people” also agree with Sowell’s demand to eliminate or privatize Medicare and Social Security?

Many of those older people have lived long enough to have seen socialism fail, time and again, in countries around the world. Venezuela, with all its rich oil resources, is currently on the verge of economic collapse, after its heady fling with socialism.

Venezuela’s government and people have been under attack from the USA outside, and from rich oligarchs inside. I agree that its government could have done more to stop the oligarchs (mass executions would be nice), but this does not mean that socialist measures are intrinsically bad.

Also Venezuela is only partly socialist. Most Venezuelan industry remains owned and controlled by private oligarchs. Furthermore the low oil prices have hurt many governments, not only Venezuela’s.

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But, most of the young have missed all that, and their dumbed-down education is far more likely to present the inspiring rhetoric of socialism than to present its dismal track record.

And what is the record of capitalism? Mass unemployment, severe inequality, endless war, a police and surveillance sate, runaway health care expenses, eternal debt slavery, and an ever-darker future. No wonder younger people want change. Sowell hates the young bastards for wanting a better world. How dare they?

Socialism is in fact a wonderful vision — a world of the imagination far better than any place anywhere in the real world, at any time over the thousands of years of recorded history. Even many conservatives would probably prefer to live in such a world, if they thought it was possible.

Bullshit. Conservatives only love hate, greed, and inequality. Heaven for them is hell for us. By the way, the USA is the only fully industrialized nation that does not have some form of single payer health care. For Sowell it is an other-worldly fantasy that the U.S. government should offer its people what other world governments do.

Who would not want to live in a world where college was free, along with many other things, and where government protected us from the shocks of life and guaranteed our happiness? It would be Disneyland for adults!

For Sowell a free college education is a pure fantasy, even though it already exists in Germany, Finland, Sweden, France, Norway, Slovenia, and Brazil.

And as far as government “protected us from the shocks of life,” that’s what Medicare and Social Security do. For Sowell these programs are pure fantasy.

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Free college of course has an appeal to the young, especially those who have never studied economics. But college cannot possibly be free. It would not be free even if there was no such thing as money.

“College cannot possibly be free” — except in the countries I just mentioned above. And WTF does “studying economics” have to do with the facts?

Whether these costs are paid by using money in a capitalist economy or by some other mechanism in a feudal economy, a socialist economy, or whatever, there are heavy costs to pay.

Fortunately the U.S. government can pay for any conceivable cost.

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Moreover, under any economic system, those costs are either going to be paid or there are not going to be any colleges. Money is just an artificial device for getting real things done.

No. Money does not “get anything done.” People “get things done.” Money simply facilitates this.

Those young people who understand this, whether clearly or vaguely, are not likely to be deterred from wanting socialism. Because what they really want is for somebody else to pay for their decision to go to college.

Likewise, right-wing assholes like Sowell want somebody else to pay for their decision to go to war. And their decision to make bad bets on Wall Street. And their decision to create speculative bubbles that always burst.

A market economy is one in which whoever makes a decision is the one who pays for that decision. It forces people to be sure that what they want to do is really worth what it is going to cost.

 I agree that market economies have certain advantages. However the USA’s economy is only partly a market economy. The rest of the U.S. economy is not a “market,” but a scam controlled by the rich.

And as far as “paying for one’s decision,” what about the U.S. government creating trillions of dollars to bail out banks that do not want to pay for their bad decisions? Sowell’s hypocrisy is boundless.

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Whether judging by test results, by number of hours per week devoted to studying or by on-campus interviews, it is clear that today’s college students learn a lot less than college students once did. If college becomes “free,” even more people can attend college without bothering to become educated and without acquiring any economically meaningful skills.

Garbage. In any nation where college is free, students must maintain at least a ‘C’ grade average in order to keep attending college.

Sowell likes the current system in which college graduates are stuck in lousy jobs paying their student loan debts for life.

More fundamentally, making all sorts of other things “free” means more of those things being wasted as well. Even worse, it means putting more and more of the decisions that shape our lives into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats who control the purse strings.

American hyper-capitalist society is the most wasteful in world history. Half an hour ago I was at a local supermarket that has a deli and meat section, which sells various forms of cooked chicken. I asked what happens to the chicken they don’t sell. They told me it is thrown into the trash. I asked why it is not donated to food banks or homeless shelters. No one knew the answer.  Meanwhile the U.S. military is incredibly wasteful. Billions of dollars’ worth of equipment are simply abandoned in places like Iraq.

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On a different note, what difference does it make to the average person whether his life is controlled by politicians and bureaucrats, or by greedy oligarchs and parasitical bankers?

Worst of all, government giveaways polarize society into segments, each trying to get what it wants at somebody else’s expense, creating mutual bitterness that can tear a society apart. Some seem to blithely assume that “the rich” can be taxed to pay for what they want — as if “the rich” don’t see what is coming and take their wealth elsewhere.

And there it is again. The lie that the U.S. government can only help one person by hurting another. Where would right-wingers be without it?

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