Thoughts on socialism

Today’s topic is prompted by a 1951 essay I recently read on economic intervention written by Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian School of Economics. If Milton Friedman is the leading free-market economist of modern times, this man would be the best of his time. The essay is an excerpt of his book “Socialism” — which I have not read in its entirety. I know, I lead a dull life.

Here is one quote. “If the government wants to make it possible for poor parents to give more milk to their children, it must buy milk at the market price and sell it to those poor people with a loss at a cheaper rate; the loss may be covered from the means collected by taxation. But if the government simply fixes the price of milk at a lower rate than the market, the results obtained will be contrary to the aims of the government. The marginal producers will, in order to avoid losses, go out of the business of producing and selling milk. There will be less milk available for the consumers, not more. This outcome is contrary to the government’s intentions. The government interfered because it considered milk as a vital necessity. It did not want to restrict its supply.”

Just for fun, substitute “health care” for “milk” in the previous paragraph. Sound familiar? If there is any doubt that Obama has socialist tendencies, just listen to some of his health care speeches and compare them to von Mises. By the way, the promised premium subsidies may not be there.

Here is another example. Since President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty, we have spent $22 trillion on it. That is more than every declared war we have ever engaged in plus the “war on drugs.” In true government fashion, the money spent has resulted in no change in U.S. poverty levels. There is the same percentage of poor people today as there were in the 1960s. The war on poverty has been promoted by both parties but very heavily by Democrats. Politicians of both parties are afraid to touch the goody bag for fear of offending a voter.

Need more? How about global warming, I mean global cooling, I mean climate change? As soon as they find a name that is scientifically supportable, I will know what to call it. This will prove to be the greatest scam of the 21st century. It is nothing more than a means to control your life by telling you what you can buy and use, from light bulbs to shopping bags to cars. Yes, I know they say the science is settled. That is why several science communities are walking back their original assertions. That includes some of our government’s research groups. A computer model is not science, it is a biased wild guess based on data inputs to drive the outcome the designer wants.

Another prime example is repeated liberal attempts to ban or severely restrict the right to bear arms. One of the first things any dictator does is outlaw gun ownership. Why would any dictator want an armed citizenry? Yet they keep chipping away at that right year after year. If guns were really so dangerous, why wasn’t there more gun crime in the early and mid- 20th century when you could buy guns by mail order or in a local store without restriction?

How about those inland “border security checkpoints” that ask you to prove you are a U.S. citizen? They are found up to 100 miles from any U.S. border. Some say they are to get you used to showing papers upon demand. You decide.

Only in this country, and China, and Russia, can the government decide when a name is not acceptable. The FCC is considering banning the word “Redskins” from airwaves. Who would have ever thought our government could be so oppressive? I recently saw an apt joke where the Justice Department is now the “Just-us” Department. Eric Holder is the most obstructive AG we have had since the 1800s.

The general election will be upon us before we know it. Now is the time to reflect on the importance of informed voting. In my view you should be required to pass a minimum competency test in order to vote. Of course, many could pass such a test, but how about those who make up their minds by asking their equally uninformed friends? “Hey, dude, it was on Facebook!” I rest my case.

Tom Riggins is an LVN columnist and may be reached at


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