Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Science Is Settled: Socialism Has Failed

What seemed to have been the death of socialism when the Berlin Wall fell nearly 30 years ago has not been so.  Like Lucky Luciana socialism was taken for dead but has managed to survive and flourish.  According to a Gallup poll, about 35% of Americans now have a positive view of socialism. Bernie Sanders's showing in the last Democratic primary, in which he received 13.2 million votes to Clinton's 16.8 million, suggests that a large section of the Democratic Party now favors socialism. That may be even greater support than, or at least comparable support to, the 1940s, when a Fortune poll (see note on p. 341 here) found that 25% of the public favored socialism and another 35% was open minded about it.

The evidence has been in for decades: Socialism is a failure.  It has been tried, and it has failed. The chief response, the claim that"there's never been a real socialism," is vacuous. That is, it can be made with respect to any ism, social arrangement or institution. There's never been a real capitalism; there's never been a real Nazism; there's never been a real anarchism. 

The "there's never been real socialism" argument is antithetical to empirical science, which aims to falsify, prove false, hypotheses through systematic testing.  The best scientific evidence with respect to social arrangements is their real-life outcomes. There have been a number of liberal (I use the word "liberal" to mean "capitalist") societies, and there have been a number of socialist ones. The liberal societies have outperformed the socialist ones on all measures save equality when measured with broad statistical measures like the Gini coefficient. 

With respect to how well off the worst-off individual is, liberalism performs better than socialism. With respect to how well off the average person is, liberalism also performs better than socialism. When compared as to how much innovation or progress occurs, liberalism also performs better than socialism. When one compares the pattern of state violence, mass murder, and freedom of expression, socialist societies have performed worse. 

While socialism seemed like a good idea until say 1970, it has proven not to work. Why, then, are so many Americans committed to a superstitious belief in it? The superstition permeates our universities, the Democratic media, and even mainstream religious institutions.  The primitive belief that violence and redistribution are more efficient than voluntarism can explain it. Socialism is a persistent superstition because human beings are genetically tribal, and the impulse toward tribalism is thwarted in the modern world.  However, tribal arrangements impede prograss.  Socialism is the ultimate reactionary form of government.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Republican Congress Is Allowing the Democratic Media to Set Its Agenda

The Republican Congress is allowing the Democratic media to set its agenda.The investigations and accusations are ongoing but going nowhere. They need to stop.  In 2014 Andrew Cuomo dissolved a Moreland Act commission that was investigating his administration.  In New York the Moreland Act establishes a procedure for the governor to appoint investigative commissions. None of the media that is now so agitated about Trump's interference in the Russian investigation called for Cuomo's impeachment.

The 20th century media, the Democratic TV and radio stations, have proven themselves incapable of reporting news coherently, so it is time for the Congress to assert its legitimate authority and to tell the media that they cannot assert an agenda for the nation.   The media was not elected to do this, yet the Republicans seem confused about that.

Congress can use bloggers and social media to communicate with the public. Television, radio, and the Democratic newspapers have increasingly become irrelevant.  The Republicans made fools of themselves in the late 1990s when they impeached Clinton, and now they are making even bigger fools of themselves.  They control both houses and the presidency, but they are allowing media Democrats to dictate their agenda and focus on investigation of a Republican president. It is time that this circus ended.

Monday, June 12, 2017

CNS News Covers My Blog

Stan Greer posted a piece in CNS News that quotes my recent blog about the positive effect of right-to-work laws on disposable income.  Greer shows that the seven states with the highest growth in demand for college-educated workers are all right-to-work states: North Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Moreover, all of the five-poorest-performing states and 11 of the 12-poorest-performing states are forced unionism states. These include  New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 



The Media's Trump/Cuomo Double Standard



In 2014 Andrew Cuomo dissolved a Moreland Act commission that was investigating corruption in Cuomo's administration. Neither the New York Times nor MSNBC called for Cuomo's impeachment. In 2017 Donald Trump made a comment to an FBI director investigating his presidency. The reverse was true--the media called for Trump's impeachment. Can we at least agree that there is a double standard here?