The oh-so-serious folks at NPR were kind enough to assemble a list of policy ideas being offered up by the ever-growing crop of Democratic presidential hopefuls. While it would be presumptuous to call this comprehensive (indeed, it doesn’t even touch upon some of the ideas of the Democratic Socialists of America are touting), it does cover the gamut of what todays Left appears to consider priorities, and is worth analyzing.

The list, extracted from the NPR article:

  • Medicare For All.
  • $15 Minimum Wage.
  • Infrastructure Spending.
  • Abortion Rights.
  • Guaranteed Jobs.
  • A partial Guaranteed Basic Income program via a refundable tax credit for the working poor.
  • Government involvement in the governance of large corporations, via a mandate that they all be federally chartered, and that 40% of corporate boards be elected by workers.
  • A requirement that large corporations pay $15 per hour and provide paid sick leave, aka the “Stop WALMART Act.”
  • A requirement that large corporations reimburse the government for any public assistance its employees collect, aka the “Stop BEZOS Act.”
  • A refundable tax credit for low income rent payers.
  • Adding banking to the US Postal Service’s functions, and offering banking at post offices.
  • Funneling tax dollars into “Baby Bonds,” i.e. trust funds for low-income children, that become available to them at adulthood.

These stand in addition to the Left’s frequent saber-rattling about raising tax rates on the rich and on corporations.

All of these ideas (even the “abortion rights” one – it’s virtually certain that “rights” in this instance means public funding) make good pabulum for the masses who accept the narrative that government can make things better for them simply by taking “excess” from others. After all, President Obama told the Wall Street fat-cats that “at a certain point you’ve made enough money” (even as his wife struts around in $3900 thigh-high glitter boots, as he charges $400,000 speaking fees, and as their net worth has grown to $65M).

The reality, though, is that all these actions may prove net positives for a few, but will make things more expensive for most, even as quality and choice degrade. History makes that quite clear, but the lure of Other People’s Money (OPM) is as relentless as the siren-song that tortured Odysseus.

None of this will be good for the economy, but that’s actually a smaller concern than the inevitable explosion in government spending and debt that will accompany it all. Hauser’s Law informs us that the government will have a devil of a time raising tax revenues enough to fund a higher level of spending, barring a fundamental change in how the government fleeces its citizens (see: Europe’s use of VATs and far, FAR heavier taxation of the lower and working classes). Then there’s the mind-set of such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s announced opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s idea of instituting pay-go rules, whereby spending increases must be covered by revenue increases. This is a sneaky move on the Dems’ part, in order to provide political cover for tax increases (we “had” to, because rules). AOC thinks that pay-go will get in the way of spending as much as she and hers want to, so instead she wants… well, it’s a mystery. I’d not be surprised if she thinks that simply printing the money for her social programs is sound economics.

All this will make the economic stagnation of the Obama years (when slow growth was the “new normal”) seem like salad days. Slowed growth and economic malaise are real concerns that, over time, sap our living standards, but the Dems’ agenda will smash those standards to smithereens, rather than merely sap them over time. Few pay attention to the fact that Europeans are poorer than Americans, despite (because of?) the cradle-to-grave entitlements they receive. And, few are paying attention to the “austerity” measures that countries like Greece are taking, because they simply don’t have the money to fulfill the promises they’ve made. Austerity includes substantial cuts to retirees’ social security payments, by the way. Americans really should take note of that, given how wild-eyed they get at any hint of (direly needed) Social Security reform.

On top of all that, it’s inevitable that the culture of political correctness that has been festering on liberal college campuses and “blue” cities will filter its way up to the Federal level, and many of the twisted ideas regarding free speech, religious practice, the Press, guns, private property, et al will become policy in some way, shape or form. “Hate speech,” whose definition is constantly expanding, must be banned. So must “fake news,” with government or a government-approved lackey acting as arbiter. What’s yours is not really yours, since there are so many restrictions on what you can do with it, and the money you earn isn’t yours either, since they decide both what you’re allowed to do with it and how much of it you’re allowed to keep. Oh, and forget about guns. Only the government and the bodyguards of the rich should be permitted to have them.

It is irrefutable that, even as progressives speak of various “rights” (to a living wage, to health care, to education, to a home, to a vague “dignity,” etc), they ponder ways to infringe upon our actual rights (to speech, to religious freedom, to our property, to self-defense, to arms, to privacy, to the fruit of our labors, to association and assembly, etc). In short, the Left’s ideals center on taking away your money and your rights. Certainly, they’ll spin it into a sugary cotton-candy form, to make it palatable, and they’ll engage in whataboutism, naked fear-mongering and envy-peddling, and all sorts of utopian promises to lure the unsuspecting and trusting into granting them the power to do so.

And, when they fail to make things better for those who put them in office, they’ll blame others, even as they themselves feel none of the pain and privation they’ve created.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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