Colman: SOCIALISM HAS FAILED IN AMERICA

I am looking forward to the Sanders vs. Trump presidential race.  It will be a debate on American values vs. government values.  Sanders believes in government, Trump believes in the people.  This will be a debate on the failures of socialism—name a socialist country that is prosperous or does not collapse into chaos—vs. capitalism, which is innovation and personal freedom.

 Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and Nixon’s perpetuation of many of the elements of the Great Society had a negative impact on the American economy.  Shlaes provides evidence that during the Johnson and Nixon years, the Dow Jones Industrial average went “on strike.”  From about 1965 to 1982, the Dow hovered around 1,000 points.  From 1982 to 1988, during Reagan’s presidency, the Dow climbed to 2,500 points.

 Shlaes notes that from 1965 to 1980, the year Reagan was elected to his first term as president of the United States, both unemployment and inflation rose in tandem.  The phenomenon was called “stagflation,” which refers to an economy that hardly grew while prices rose significantly.”

Freedom/capitalism grows a people and a nation.  Socialism takes away freedom and the need to succeed.  Do you believe in government or yourself?

SOCIALISM HAS FAILED IN AMERICA

By Richard Colman, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,  1/17/20 

 A new book by the conservative writer, Amity Shlaes, documents how socialism has failed in America.

 The book, entitled “The Great Society:  A New History” (Harper, 2019), demonstrates that the anti-poverty programs of President Lyndon Johnson failed to reduce the poverty rate.

 Shlaes also criticizes President Richard Nixon for continuing Johnson’s failed anti-poverty policies.

 Some economists claim that the private sector is better at generating jobs than government.

 Shlaes says that both Johnson and Nixon introduced “socialism” in America but did not use the word “socialism.”

 In her book, Shlaes shows a graph in which poverty dropped dramatically between 1950 and 1965, the year that many of Johnson’s anti-poverty programs were passed.  From 1965 to 2016, the graph shows that poverty hovered between 10 and 15 percent.

 Shlaes, a former member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, is the author of several best-selling books, including “The Forgotten Man:  A New History of the Great Depression,” and “The Greedy Hand:  How Taxes Drive Americans Crazy.”

 In “Great Society,” Shlaes argues that capitalism went through a major change between the 1950’s and the 1980’s and 1990’s.  In the 1950’s, she says that the model of business was a company like General Electric, at which employees tended to work for one company during their careers.

 However, during the 1980’s and 1990’s a new form of “ownership capitalism” emerged in which employees at such firms as Microsoft and Intel offered employees ownership — through shares of stock — where employees worked.

 Shlaes pays close attention to Ronald Reagan, who in the 1950’s was a spokesman for General Electric.  Reagan, a former Democrat, became a Republican and in 1966 ran for governor of California under the banner of a “creative society.”  Reagan won his 1966 gubernatorial election by one million votes.

 Reagan, according to Shlaes, saw government as a problem, not a solution, to society’s difficulties.

 Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and Nixon’s perpetuation of many of the elements of the Great Society had a negative impact on the American economy.  Shlaes provides evidence that during the Johnson and Nixon years, the Dow Jones Industrial average went “on strike.”  From about 1965 to 1982, the Dow hovered around 1,000 points.  From 1982 to 1988, during Reagan’s presidency, the Dow climbed to 2,500 points.

 Shlaes notes that from 1965 to 1980, the year Reagan was elected to his first term as president of the United States, both unemployment and inflation rose in tandem.  The phenomenon was called “stagflation,” which refers to an eonomy that hardly grew while prices rose significantly.

 From 1950 to 1979, Shlaes presents data showing a precipitous decline in American gold reserves.  In 1950, gold reserves were at a level of 650 million troy ounces.  By 1979, the level had dropped to 275 — a 58 percent decline.

 as examples of labor union greed.  She cites Walter Reuther, head of the United Auto Workers during the 1950’s and 1960’s, as extracting huge wage increases

from such American auto companies as General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.  The result was higher prices for American autos and a large shift by American car-buyers to cheaper and better cars from Japan and Germany.  Shlaes says that American cars became uncompetitive compared with imported vehicles.

 Some observers claim that the discount retail chain, Walmart, provides a better example of an anti-poverty program than government efforts.  Walmart, which sells clothing, food, and many other items, had 1,000 employees in 1970.  By 2018, Walmart had 2.3 million employees.  During that same interval, Walmart went from 32 stores to 11,718.

 Shlaes’ book should be required reading for anyone who senses that America, during the Johnson and Nixon years, became a second-rate economic power.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Thanks Richard for the history and the recommendation for the book.

  2. Does anyone remember Nixon imposed wage and price freeze on the entire nation? The back room comments were this will either prove or destroy this Socialist Plan.

    Guess what it FAILED. Who were the greatest critics of Nixon’s plan? The UNIONS. They cried foul almost 6 months into the controls.

    So there you go. You one of those “compassionate” RINO’s who state they want to compromise think about it. The Great Society bankrupted Johnson’s term. Wage and Price Control failed and was fought by the Socialist Unions.

    Still want a Socialist nation?

  3. Glad to see some focus on LBJ’s failed attempt at marginalizing America with the “Great Society” debacle.

  4. Unfortunately socialism is alive and well in California, consider the following:
    Largest homeless population in the US
    Corrupt politicians (local, state)
    Failing schools
    High energy costs
    Poor Forrest and water management
    High taxes
    High crime rates
    Poor roads and infrastructure
    Maybe I should have just said Democrats ruin everything.

  5. Otis Needleman says

    Let’s look at things in even a more basic way. Americans can re-elect someone who puts America and Americans first, or they can vote for someone whose minions want to put Americans in GULAGs. Don’t believe Bernie has disavowed this.

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