What is Democratic Socialism?

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Democratic socialism. The new catchphrase of America’s Democratic presidential hopefuls. In a June 2019 Axios poll, four out of 10 Americans preferred socialism to capitalism. Pew’s more recent October 2019 poll showed 55 percent negative, 42 percent positive toward socialism. That’s a huge jump in less than five months.

The liberal-leaning Wikipedia attempts to explain: Democratic socialism … advocates political democracy alongside a socially owned economy, with an emphasis on workers’ self-management and democratic control of economic institutions.

Hmm…workers’ self-management… democratic control…

The Austrian-British economist-philosopher, F. A. Hayek, an authority on the subject, asserts that a democratic centrist’s plans must become more and more dictatorial (aka democratic control?) as individual human actors pursue their own plans (aka workers’ self-management?). Thus, the road to totalitarianism begins and democratic freedoms disappear. Fundamental. Democracy and socialism cannot co-exist. Why is that not taught on every college campus today?

Couched in this modern cry for democratic socialism, many of our disenfranchised youth (who have been schooled what to think rather than how to think for themselves) are being deceived. Most who are still in higher education classes or fresh out of college, find themselves unemployable. The women’s studies and social awareness classes they took have not translated into a marketable job skill. They find themselves buried in a mountain of student loan debt and no way to pay for it. Very frustrating.

Comes along a former bartender with all the answers… Now, promises Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s free housing for all!

“Wow,” thinks the unemployed middle-aged male living in his parent’s basement…I can get my own place and STILL play Rainbow Six Siege all day!

Much of what we hear in the news cycle has this same juvenile mentality. Free everything without the cost. Most conservatives now realize that what ‘The Squad’ and their ilk are espousing is so much more sinister. They are, of course, Marxist influencers pandering to the young, immature, uninformed, illegal and ‘useful tools’ (arguably attributed to Lenin’s writings) voters within our society.

Ocasio-Cortez’s tactics remind me of a story of the elementary student who ran for class president. (Forgive me if you’ve heard this or a version of it before, but it begs repeating.) On the day of voting she announced to her classroom that if she won, everyone would get free ice cream. When the votes were tallied, she of course won. That night at dinner when she declared her win, her parent asked, “That’s fine, dear, but who’s going to pay for it?” She hadn’t thought of that. A responsible adult would require her to indeed buy her classmates ice cream from a year’s advance of garnered dollars from chores or odd jobs. Either that or suffer her to hide from unfettered bullying in a restroom stall at recess. (The latter most certainly not acceptable.)

So, back to common sense. When will responsible American taxpayers take a firm stand against this trend? When do we reach critical mass and actually do something? Worse yet, are we already paying for egregious big government overreach (aka democratic control?).

Here’s our reality: In 2017, the government’s Office of Personnel Management paid almost 2 million federal employees $136 billion. (That’s $1 million per minute, $66 million per hour, and $500 million per day.)

Here’s the rub: The latest OPM report shows 255,000 government employee names redacted. Most of those names are paid above $100,000 per year. Why are 1 in every 5 government employee salaries withheld from the purview of taxpayer information? They have claimed privacy rights.

Let that sink in: 255,000 federal employees who are paid collectively $20 billion per year no longer consider themselves accountable to the American taxpayer.


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Tanya Hazelton


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