by WorldTribune Staff, February 25, 2019
The young socialist has some urgent advice for an old progressive – and, while she’s at it – for the entirety of human civilization as well.
In a Feb. 24 Instagram video, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29-year-old New York Democrat, took a swipe at Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 85-year-old California Democrat, over Feinstein’s green credentials.
AOC also noted that, due to climate change, children will have a tough life – so people should consider whether its prudent to have children.
“Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don’t turn this ship around and so it’s basically like, there’s a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know, ‘Is it okay to still have children?’ ”
Ocasio-Cortez took Feinstein to task over an incident last week at Feinstein’s D.C. office in which a leftist group sought to pressure the senator into supporting the Green New Deal.
“You know what’s interesting about this group?” Feinstein told the Sunrise Movement group. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’m doing. You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that. I’ve gotten elected, I just ran. I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality. And I know what I’m doing. So you know, maybe people should listen a little bit.”
Ocasio-Cortez said Feinstein’s response was “like, not good enough.”
“This idea that ‘I’ve been working on this for x-amount of years,’ um, it’s like not good enough,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Like, we need a universal sense of urgency, and people are like trying to introduce watered-down proposals that are frankly going to kill us. A lack of urgency is going to kill us.”
Speaking of Feinstein’s 30-years reference, it was 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Empire collapsed.
“The end of the Cold War, we were told, buried the idea of history as the armed rivalry of opposing ideologies,” Tom Switzer, executive director of the Center for Independent Studies (CIS), wrote on Feb. 23 for The Sydney Morning Herald. “It was widely believed that liberal democracy was on the march and market economics was universally accepted as superior to socialism.”
But socialism “has been resurgent, especially among the so-called millennial generation: those born between 1982 and 1998,” Switzer noted, citing a cover story in The Economist titled “The Rise of Millennial Socialism”.
In the U.S., a Gallup poll last year, found that 57 percent of Democrats favored socialism while just 47 percent support capitalism.
In a YouGov poll commissioned by the CIS last year, 58 percent of Australian millennials have a favorable view of socialism, with only 18 percent having an unfavorable one.
Switzer wrote: “What’s going on? Why are so many young people in the Anglosphere attracted to socialism? Part of the problem is plain ignorance. Most millennials were hardly alive when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an ‘evil empire.’ ”
According to the CIS poll, only 26 percent of millennials are familiar with Vladimir Lenin and 34 percent with Joseph Stalin. Only 21 percent of those questioned said they knew who Mao was. “Never mind that these men were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions and the impoverishment of hundreds of millions,” Switzer wrote.
Whatever the excuse for their ignorance of communism, Switzer wrote, millennials “should at least know about Venezuela where the socialist regime of the past two decades has led to repression, an economy in free fall, widespread disease and starvation and mass emigration.”
Another part of the problem, Switzer noted, “is that many millennials see socialism as represented by Scandinavian nations.”
Ocasio-Cortez has said that her brand of socialism is equated with the Scandinavian nations and not Venezuela.
Yet, “Sweden’s experiment with socialist policies was disastrous, and its economic success in recent decades is a result of market-based reforms,” Switzer noted. “Nations with a company tax rate as low as 22 percent (Norway and Sweden) cannot be classified as socialist.”
Switzer continued: “There is a bigger issue at play here: socialist policy prescriptions just don’t work. Those millennials who are increasingly attracted to socialism should recognize that you don’t tax a loss: you only tax a profit. Without profit – without capitalism – you cannot raise the revenue to provide public healthcare, education, law and order or defense.
“There is no economy in history that has benefited from socialism. All economies that have enjoyed sustained growth and have broadened prosperity have done so through free trade and free markets.”
As Margaret Thatcher once observed: “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”