By Jonathan Carmichael
Self-proclaimed Socialist, Kshama Sawant is running for Seattle City Council, and according to a Nov. 14th Seattle Times report, she holds an increasing lead over a four-term incumbent. [UPDATE: Hours after I posted this, Sawant surged to victory winning 56.3 percent of the vote]
The council is comprised of nine members “elected to four-year terms in citywide nonpartisan elections.” Even though the council position is supposedly nonpartisan, there is no denying that the support of an openly Socialist candidate reflects the mentality of Seattle voters.
Let’s explore some of her objectives as listed on www.votesawant.org
Takes aim at wealth creators
- Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr.
This is a common cry by those on the left. The exact dollar amount varies, but the irrational thinking is the same – an employee’s need to a certain standard of living justifies forcing the employer to pay a government prescribed wage without regard to the employee’s value to the employer, the negation of potential volitional wage agreements between employer and employee, or the myriad of consequences that the market will logically incur in accordance with the laws of supply and demand.
- A Millionaire’s Tax to fund mass transit, education, and living-wage union jobs providing vital social services.
Redistribution of wealth is only possible by violating the individual rights of wealth creators, and this is an overt example of it. She is claiming the right to the property of some individuals in the name of the “common good.”
Author and philosopher, Ayn Rand added some clarity to the idea of “common good” in her book, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.
“When ‘the common good’ of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.” — Ayn Rand
When these social services are funded by the Millionaire’s Tax will the individuals who use these services thank the millionaires? Not likely. Wealth creators are regarded as evil, immoral, greedy materialists and thereby society’s sacrificial animals under the irrationality of socialism.
- End corporate welfare. Tax freeloading corporations. Reduce the unfair tax burden on small businesses, homeowners & workers.
I agree that corporate welfare should end. Government should not interfere with business with subsidies and the like. Whereas Sawant and her fellow socialists would end corporate welfare yet maintain social welfare, a rational person would end all welfare.
Laissez-faire capitalism, which requires separation of economy and state, would not accommodate such corporate welfare. Because capitalism is, as Ayn Rand defined it, “a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned,” there would be no unfair tax burdens on small businesses, homeowners, workers or any individuals. There would be no exploitable system of regulations and tax codes to allow for “freeloading corporations.”
- Unionize Amazon, Starbucks & low-paid service workers.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Companies like Amazon and Starbucks provide hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide to include their headquarters city, Seattle. By what logic and by what moral code does a government claim the right to enforce acceptance of employee unionization upon any employer regardless of size, number of employees, or nature of work?
- No layoffs or attacks on public sector unions!
This cry for “no layoffs or attacks” sounds like a means of perpetuating a tyrannical state. Is she proposing to pass laws prohibiting layoffs and attacks on public sector unions, is she making a plea, or is she sending a warning to potential dissenters? This is unclear.
Misidentifies capitalism as cause of failures
Sawant’s argument for socialism is predicated on the pretense that “capitalism has failed the 99%,” and the solution is “a socialist world based on the needs of humanity and the environment.”
This is a common misrepresentation of capitalism which is propagated by all who cry of its evils as well as those who claim to be its advocates yet — because they start with the wrong moral premise — apologize for it. Capitalism is not in play today nor has it been in pure form at any point in history. Today’s mixed economy with its expanding government manipulation cannot be considered capitalism.
Some will still claim that because capitalism is part of the mix – statism or government control being the other part – that capitalism has proven to not work. That is a fallacy. The nature of capitalism does not merely prefer freedom from government interference, but it necessarily requires freedom from government interference. Introduce one government regulation, entitlement program, antitrust law, or a Federal Reserve and we are no longer dealing with capitalism. Much like introducing cyanide to a healthy meal contradicts the meal’s healthiness; and the more cyanide that is added the less healthy, thus more deadly it becomes. Likewise, the more government control that is added, the less capitalist, thus more statist the government becomes.
Consider the following two analogies:
Suppose a man bought a car, removed all of the tires, drained all of the engine oil, and drove it as fast as it would go with the emergency brake engaged. Eventually, very soon in fact, bad things would happen and the car would no longer be drivable. Should he then conclude that cars don’t work?
If one were to open a can of white paint and mix in some green paint then use the mixture to attempt to paint a wall white, would one then deduce – ignoring the fact that green paint had been added to the white paint – that white paint was proven to not work on account of its “greenness?”
The irrational conclusions in each of those analogies are akin to the anti-capitalist’s foolish claims of capitalism’s proven failures; claims that ignore the government interference that, by its existence, denies the freedom required for capitalism and capitalist societies to flourish. A society’s economic prosperity is in direct correlation to the degree of its freedom.
“It must be remembered that the political systems of the nineteenth century were not pure capitalism, but mixed economies. The element of freedom, however, was dominant; it was as close to a century of capitalism as mankind has come. But the element of statism kept growing throughout the nineteenth century, and by the time it blasted the world in 1914, the governments involved were dominated by statist policies.” – Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was perhaps the most rational proponent and intellectual defender of capitalism. For anyone who wants to go beyond the misconceptions and become more informed about capitalism, Ayn Rand’s book, Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal is a great place to start.
I do hope that the people of Seattle will prevent its demise at the hand of socialist government policies.
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