by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jeremy Hammond reviews for Barron’s a new book that explains why left-wing darling Bernie Sanders had no business standing anywhere near presidential power.
Sanders garnered a surprising number of votes by presenting himself as a candidate with new solutions for the country’s many problems.
Hunter Lewis, an investment consultant and author of several books on economic issues—all written, like this one, in a clear and conversational style—shows that Sanders’ proposed solutions aren’t new at all. They represent the same bromides that have burdened economic progress for more than a century. …
… He gives Sanders a lot of credit for identifying numerous problems that need addressing, including pervasive corruption. Where Sanders goes wrong as radical-reformer in his indictments of the system is by connecting the dots only half-way. His analysis is “partially right, but incomplete.”
As Lewis observes, “[Bernie] describes government being subverted by greedy billionaires and companies, but gives government officials a free pass. Are not government officials also guilty for letting themselves be seduced and subverted? Bernie never points the finger at anyone in government, and there is a reason for this glaring omission on his part.”
The reason is that it would highlight the absurdity of his proposed solutions. “Bernie proposes to solve the problem of political corruption and a rigged economy,” writes Lewis, “by giving government even more power. How will this help? Surely an expanded and even more powerful government, ever more deeply involved in running the economy, will become an even more tempting target for the wealthy subverters.”
Sanders has clarified that he isn’t a socialist, since he doesn’t think the government should own the means of production; instead, he calls himself variously a “democratic socialist,” “progressive,” or several other labels he treats synonymously. But while he is a decent man with his heart in the right place, his preference for state control over privately owned industry is ironically similar to the economic systems espoused by moral monsters like Mussolini and Hitler. Even in Bernie’s benign version, such a system would only strengthen well-connected corporations, while making it more difficult for other companies to prosper or survive.