William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE DEMS HEAD OFF THE IDEOLOGICAL CLIFF – AT 9:25 A.M. ET:  I'll bet some of these people were trained by the professors referenced in the post just below.  It's logical.  From the great Nile Gardiner at London's Telegraph: 

Rasmussen has just published a major poll on US voter attitudes towards socialism. It reveals that Democrats are evenly divided in their views on socialism, with 45 percent viewing it favourably, and 45 percent negatively. This is a strikingly high level of support for socialist ideology within a political party in the United States (and the ruling party at that), and strongly suggests that Democrats are increasingly moving towards a continental-European style approach to economic issues, advancing a big government agenda that resembles that of European Social Democratic governments. This is reflected in the Obama presidency’s growing emphasis on tax the rich, class warfare policies that have been de rigeur across the Atlantic for decades, an approach that places heavy emphasis upon the redistribution of wealth.

But there is hope:

Among non-Democrats, however, attitudes towards socialism are very different. Republicans and Independents are overwhelmingly opposed to socialism, and as Rasmussen has concluded, just 24 percent of all Americans have a favourable opinion of socialism, with 67 percent holding an unfavorable view of a socialist economic system. According to Rasmussen, 68 percent of Americans hold a favourable view of “capitalism,” and 76 percent have a positive view of the “free enterprise system.” This chimes with a January Rasmussen poll, which found that 70 percent of Americans “think a free market economy is better than one managed by the government.” A separate Rasmussen poll released on Tuesday also revealed a deep-seated suspicion of the federal government among a clear majority of Americans, with 63 percent offering a negative view.

COMMENT:  I would guess that many of those expressing a favorable view of socialism don't actually know what it is, and that others were influenced by college professors who still wear Che Guevera T-shirts at sugar-cane-cutting festivals.

Free enterprise isn't perfect, but it's a lot more perfect than the socialist systems of Europe.  They do provide some additional services, and I will admit that they iron out some of the more reprehensible disparities in compensation that exist in our own country.  However, in the end, socialism leads to atrophy.  It destroys incentive, which in turn destroys innovation and creativity, the building blocks of a strong economy.

I was amused recently watching a program by CNN's resident third-world leftist, Fareed Zakaria.  He was mightily impressed by the fact that Sweden has a cabinet minister for innovation.  It's typical of leftists to be impressed by government officials who are devoted to noble ends.  But, where's the innovation?  Sweden is a dying nation, strangled by the burdens of the welfare state while welcoming immigrants from the Mideast who have no use for the culture of that state.  Sweden doesn't even own Volvo any longer, and Saab is dead.  But they do have a cabinet minister for innovation.  Next they should have a cabinet minister specializing in how to fade into history gracefully.

I'll take free enterprise.  I'll try to improve it, but I'll take it over socialism.

November 30,  2012