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Is This What the 1930s Were Like?

Well-educated people on my Facebook feed, many of whom attended elite institutions of education with me, are advocating socialism. More specifically, they are suggesting that private businesses should make hiring and compensation decisions based on some generally agreed notion of the common good. 

I can understand when young adults in their twenties with no memory of the Soviet Union feel this way. But for people my age to not accept as bedrock that this method of economic organization has be…

  1. In Massachusetts, we have Masshealth; it’s insurance for the unemployed or underemployed, but even in MA, nobody tried to tell employers how to provide insurance. Most conservatives dislike MassHealth, but it’s a far cry better than Obamacare: it provides insurance to those who otherwise can’t get it, but it leaves private businesses alone. I don’t understand why Romney didn’t point that out.

  2. tabula rasa

    Funny how these liberal-minded “live and let live,” “find your own truth” types just can’t stand it when a business makes decisions in its own interest or when a conservative tries to speak on a college campus.  The leftist orthodoxy trumps all.

  3. SunnyOptimism

    But for people my age to not accept as bedrock that this method of economic organization has been thoroughly tested and completely discredited boggles my mind. And yet this is the direction in which we seem to be careening.

    Trace, sadly most people, even those with some cursory knowledge of what the USSR was, are completely illiterate when it comes to history.  Or worse yet, they believed most of the anti-Western nonsense they were “educated” with by liberal institutions – when Anita Dunn is allowed to address a class of high school graduates and say the names “Mother Teresa” and “[Chairman] Mao” in the same sentence without being entirely laughed off the stage, the results are young adults who are confused and completely ignorant of the world they live in.

    The moral relativism of this age will rot our culture from the inside out unless good people with great conviction attempt to rescue it by not simply allowing their children to be indoctrinated but by actively participating in their lives and education to teach them the lessons of history.

  4. Fred Cole
    tabula rasa: Funny how these liberal-minded “live and let live,” “find your own truth” types just can’t stand it when a business makes decisions in its own interest or when a conservative tries to speak on a college campus.  The leftist orthodoxy trumps all. · 6 minutes ago

    I never think of liberals as live and let live, or conservatives for that matter.  Live and let live, if applied consistently, is a libertarian notion.

  5. Trace
    tabula rasa: Funny how these liberal-minded “live and let live,” “find your own truth” types just can’t stand it when a business makes decisions in its own interest or when a conservative tries to speak on a college campus.  The leftist orthodoxy trumps all. · 6 minutes ago

    Yes, that is a whole other post. How the head of a Jesuit (Fordham) University can condemn the speech of a published author (Ann Coulter) so casually, with blanket assertion and no specific evidence, is stunning.

    I would rather he told the Republican Group, go ahead but this is going to cost us $X in additional security and overtime costs and you will have to fund the ruckus yourselves, and I am referring all press inquiries to your dorm room. 

  6. Anna M.

    I know scads of folks like this in academia.  I remember talking with a student once who ranted about how evil rich people are, then in the next breath she was rattling on about all the wonderful things she and her boyfriend were going to have “when we’re rich.”

    I think of them as “asterisk socialists”–they check the box for redistributionist Marxist ideals because they’re convinced there’s an asterisk right next to the box that says “doesn’t apply to me, just to everyone else.”

  7. Steven Jones

    I do not discount the notion that many who lived through the Cold War retain some nostalgia for the Soviet Union – and can never forgive Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II for bringing it down. The journalism profession is infested with such people; they will never publicly admit it, but they are Marxists or Maoists at heart.

  8. Garrett Petersen

    Education without wisdom is a liability, not an asset.

  9. HoosierDaddy

    There will be a civil war before true socialism in America.

  10. Jerry Broaddus

    Papa Johns gets more for the free pizzas than they would for the same amount spent on insurance for employees.

    Personally, I’m using the boycott list as a preferred fast-food vendor’s list. I’ll use those vendors until they cave, and not a second longer.

  11. Fred Cole

    I hope I see that tonight on my Facebook feed so I can eviscerate it.

  12. tabula rasa
    Fred Cole

    tabula rasa: Funny how these liberal-minded “live and let live,” “find your own truth” types just can’t stand it when a business makes decisions in its own interest or when a conservative tries to speak on a college campus.  The leftist orthodoxy trumps all. · 6 minutes ago

    I never think of liberals as live and let live, or conservatives for that matter.  Live and let live, if applied consistently, is a libertarian notion. · 1 hour ago

    Note the quote marks.  I was writing ironically.  Liberals pay lip service to classical liberal notions, but they’re anything but. We can argue about conservatives and liberals somewhere else. The point Trace raises goes to the liberal demonization of business for making business decisions (which is something that I, a conservative, would not do).

  13. William McClain

    Hah, the fact they don’t understand the difference between giving away 2 million dirt-cheap pizzas to generate recurring sales far exceeding 2 million pizzas and a new and recurring payroll cost that has no ROI is a pretty sad statement.

    At one point in Western civilization, Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa while writing about double-entry bookkeeping. Now we have a class of college-educated wastrels who make cheap gifs which misunderstand basic elements of economics – and consider it justice.

  14. Arahant
    Trace: I also consider that we are a victim of our own success. To many well-credentialed individuals now make good livings in areas completely removed from business which allows them to somehow move in educated circles but remain absolutely clueless about how wealth is created (and destroyed.) · 38 minutes ago

    Sounds like my whole career, working with people who sub-optimize for their own areas, not caring about the business as a whole.

  15. RightinChicago

    Not exactly like the 30′s.  Men wore more of these

    hats.jpg

    back then

  16. Matthew K. Tabor

    Part of me loves that the wrongheaded spend so much time discussing these things with each other and complaining on Facebook — that’s time they’re not spending mucking up something that actually matters.

  17. KC Mulville
    Trace They are suggesting that private businesses should make hiring and compensation decisions based on some generally agreed notion of the common good.

    Wasn’t it Marv Levy, the coach of Buffalo Bills during the Jim Kelly Super Bowl years, who said that  “Once a coach starts listening to the people in the stands, he will soon join them.”

    In the same way, once a businessman starts listening to academia …

  18. Paul Wilson

    I’m a firm believer in the Koch Doctrine, “the people have spoken, and now they must be punished.” Let them experience how vapid bumper-sticker sentiment gets translated into government coercion, and see how much they like it.

  19. Think So

    It’s so simple it’s ridiculous.

    1) $2 Million = Advertising Expenditure

    2) Advertising Expenditure = Increased Sales

    So the question of the hour for these brainiacs is “does health care expense increase sales thus justifying the expenditure?” In this new society the witch hunt is on – spend or be burned – logic be damned.

  20. Orion
    Trace: I also consider that we are a victim of our own success. To many well-credentialed individuals now make good livings in areas completely removed from business which allows them to somehow move in educated circles but remain absolutely clueless about how wealth is created (and destroyed.) · 36 minutes ago

    Great observation. My “well credentialed” liberal friends/colleagues exhibit the same willful lack of understanding. They’re all smart people but cannot/will not rationally explain their positions.

    The people that surrounded FDR, with the exception of Andrew Mellon, were also “well credentialed” but clueless. History repeats itself…

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