Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bill Crawford: Constructive Conservatism Needed to Stop Rise of Socialism

What would Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism, think of capitalism in America today?


You see, it was Smith's notion that despite natural greed, individuals in a free, capitalistic society would be led by "reason, principle, conscience" to act morally and compassionately. Capitalism would be the economic mechanism by which wage earners and the middle class would accumulate wealth. While certainly true historically in the United States, and much of the free world, that no longer seems to be the case here, especially since the Great Recession.

"Only upper income families have median wealth greater than prior to the Great Recession" – Pew Research Center, Nov. 1, 2017.

"The income share of the poorest half of Americans is declining while the richest have grabbed more. In Europe, it’s not happening." – Vox.com, July 29, 2018.

"The US Congressional Research Service says the income share of the richest 1% of Americans reached 19.6% last year. It never rose above 10% in the first four decades after the Second Word War." – The Telegraph, Feb. 5, 2019.

And, so what, you say?

"According to a new poll from Gallup, young Americans are souring on capitalism. Less than half, 45 percent, view capitalism positively," CNBC reported last August. "Meanwhile, 51 percent of young people are positive about socialism."



Perhaps you noticed the leftward swing in the mid-term elections last year. According to Axios.com, "The Democratic Party's base is rallying around calls for massive social welfare programs like Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee and a Green New Deal — all of which would cost trillions of dollars and potentially bust the budget," which they say "is not that big of a deal."

This trend is not new. In 2011 BBC News Magazine published an article that declared, "As a side-effect of the financial crisis, more and more people are starting to think Karl Marx was right."

To counter this trend, what have conservatives done? So far, they continue to promote rapacious capitalism, facilitate corporate greed, and provide fuel to energize the left.

In 1923, Sir John Skelton, penned a series of anti-socialism articles challenging fellow conservatives to step up and face the social and economic challenges facing his nation. He called this approach "constructive conservatism" and said that growing the wealth of wage-earners through fair wages and property ownership should be conservative's top priority to thwart the appeal of socialism.

In today's parlance that means big business should be hiring more people and increasing wages rather than funding stock buy-backs, expensive mergers, and escalating corporate salaries (now 270 times average wage earner salaries; up from 20 times in 1970.) Crumbs to the middle class from massive tax cuts for huge corporations and the wealthy and low-wage jobs with no benefits and no future won't dent the rise of socialism.

So, who are the champions of constructive conservatism in America today?

Well, John Kasich may come closest. Quoting conservative Catholic philosopher Michael Novak, he said capitalism without compassion is "bankrupt," but looks more to government intervention than moral business behavior.

An ironic call for "moral capitalism" to combat socialism comes from Rep. Joe Kennedy (yes, one of those Kennedys). "We have to do a better job addressing the economic needs of working class and middle class voters," he told the Associated Press.

Some form of constructive conservatism will be needed to thwart the rise of socialism.


Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

38 comments:

Dee Ray said...

"According to a new poll from Gallup, young Americans are souring on capitalism..."

Well I'll just be damned! What a revelation! I'm souring on the nuclear fusion equation too; but, that's primarily because I don't know a damned thing about it and if I did I wouldn't understand it's applicability.

The tragedy is that we've allowed 95% of our 'institutions of higher learning' to be populated with socialist indoctrinators at the instructor and professor (and even adjunct) levels. Is it any surprise that 'young Americans' are soured on capitalism?

Please think beyond the tip of your nose, Mr. Crawford.

Anonymous said...

"Quoting conservative Catholic philosopher Michael Novak, he said capitalism without compassion is "bankrupt,"

That's nothing more than code for 'Capitalism is fine, but stuff must be free for a large group of people'. That pretty much mirrors The Pope's position.

Anonymous said...

Young people aka idiots have not a clue as to anything other than getting what they want.

Their spending habits, work ethic and overall understanding of basic economics remains on a first grade level. They see socialism as some "equalizer" for the poor and a safety net for themselves. Both perceptions are wrong.

There have been poor people since the beginning of time. Its up to the individual to get out of poverty and capitalism is the only practical route to a better quality of life.

Anonymous said...

"Why John Kasich Is Fighting the New Health-Care Bill : It threatens the failed Medicaid expansion he championed in Ohio."

When Kasich took office in 2011, Ohio was rebounding from the Great Recession, and there were 2.2 million Medicaid recipients in the state. By this January, 3.1 million Ohioans were dependent on the program — more than a quarter of the state’s population. Already the largest item in the state budget when he became governor, Medicaid spending climbed slowly for the first half of Kasich’s first term and then skyrocketed by 35 percent in four years, from $18.9 billion in fiscal year 2013 to $25.7 billion in 2017.

Ohio’s Medicaid program exploded because Kasich chose to take Obamacare money to add able-bodied, working-age, childless adults to the rolls.
.....
Kasich initially projected that 447,000 Ohioans would sign up for the Medicaid expansion by 2020. The $13 billion this would cost, he said, would be “Ohio money” he was “bringing back” to the state, warning that other states would get Ohio’s share of Medicaid-expansion money if Ohio refused it. The Congressional Research Service and Congressional Budget Office have both debunked this claim;


Trent Lott, 'Empty Suit' Gregg Harper and (Madison County Election Scammer) Andy Taggart all endorsed Kasich in 2016. He finished a distant single-digits THIRD.

Little surprise to see Crawford fawning over the RINO Kasich again:

Crawford 2016: Kasich last hope for candidate with character and competency
Crawford 2015: Conservative leadership, faith bind Taggart to Kasich

Rod Knox said...

Mississippi will be the last state to recognize the growing corporate corruption of Capitalism. We in this state will likely decline into a Konservative Kristian Kapitalist Klan before recognizing just how corrupt we have been led to become.

Current political dogma in this state remains "nothing is too good for the deserving few who now own everything" and of course, "those poor, lazy, irresponsible entitlement cheats need to be forced work or starve. We don't owe them anything."

It's really so simple we're told by the Ministry of Troooth.

Anonymous said...

"Either system, capitalism or socialism, rejected as an absolute evil will ultimately result in the death of the adopted system."

History will tell.

Anonymous said...

The danger inherent in any social system based on free acquisition of wealth is that the leadership, i.e. government and those individuals who are part of it, will become slave to their own desires for wealth and subordinate the interest of the masses they "represent". This is happening more each day as the very wealthy can buy all the "government" they need to multiply their wealth even more, and separate themselves from the growing lower classes. The only desire of the "leaders" is to enter the upper class themselves not to represent the interest of the lower classes. Ultimately the lower classes realize their "leaders" had abandoned them and they lose faith in the governmental structure altogether. At that point open rebellion begins. The seriousness of the rebellion depends on the size of the lower classes. The United States in entering a critical period. The middle class is shrinking and the reaction is not constructive leadership but destructive denial. If we do not demand better leadership than the greedy clowns who emerge at every election cycle we are doomed to this scenario.

Anonymous said...

@10:41

Who is "them" and what is it exactly that we owe "them" ?

Anonymous said...

11:28 agreed..

There's a strong message of Trump knocking off 16 other, "well-oiled, entrenched (experienced?), long-time political" candidates to get the job. We should hope to stay removed from that old-style "system" of leadership.

Citizen Z said...

Hard times make strong men
Strong men make peaceful times
Peaceful times make weak men
Weak men create hard times

Who raised the idiot young people that boomers like blame for everything?

As a millenial, I know the exact source of our problems are. We are forbidden to talk about it. And exactly what could I do about it while I was a child the last 19 years?

Anonymous said...

@10:55 I was taught that communism and socialism were the gateways to hell and the Christian had to be a capitalist...although Jesus Christ was obviously teaching socialism. I have learned to ignore the contradiction.

Hermit King said...

The source of today's idiot young people who know nothing and believe that White Capitalist Patriarchy is the root of all evil is Howard Zinn. He wrote A People's History of the United States which paints every achievement of the men who built America as oppression of People of Color. This man was born in 1944 and died in 2008. His subversive poison was allowed to spread for decades.

This all happened under the watch of baby boomers who prefer to blame the younger generation for the nation's problems instead of accepting they did nothing for decades except consume imported crap and watch football.

These are your children and grandchildren. And you were all too distracted to stop the growing cancer that is now killing this nation.

Howard Zinn, Modern School History Books

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for Trump to drain the swamp. Mueller is doing a better job of drainage than Trump.

Anonymous said...

We’re tired of getting ripped off at every turn and being told it’s the status quo. Generation “snowflake” got screwed and we know it. You can call a different path whatever you want, but we’re going to try something different.

E.G.
If creating fake bank accounts (Wells Fargo) is part of capitalism, and we’re supposed to rally behind it— then yeah, you can count us out.

Anonymous said...

@Hermit King

You are exactly right except for the dates of Howard Zinn's birth and death. He was born in 1922 and died in 2010. Yes, I saw Dinesh D'Souza's movie also. And Howard Zinn's work has been the basis of subversive public education US History for about 30 years.

Tolerance of subversion will be the death of this country.

Anonymous said...

I think most readers of this page know that socialism never works, so I will skip that discussion to focus on two things that seem to be lacking in this discussion so far. #1 This country was made great by the combination of capitalism and Christianity. So that the people who did not earn a living were helped by Christian charity (or some other religious charity). Charity of this type does not foster the sense of entitlement that government charity does. The people getting handouts know that it is not guaranteed and they are still responsible for feeding themselves. #2 The rich are getting richer not because they are more greeded but because of economic progress. With the rise of computers, internet, etc. a successful businessman, or manager, can lead and supervise many more people than in days gone by and thus are worth more to the company. Flip side, with improved machinery, computers, etc it is possible to 'dumb down' some jobs more than ever before. So the people on the bottom are easily trained, do less physically demanding work, and are easily replaced. This leads to a larger wage gap. I'm not saying that it's not a problem, just saying that business owners and companies are no more greedy now than in the past, the structure of the workplace has changed.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the message is when the Republicans lose a historic number of seats in Congress or what will be the message when a Progressive wipes out Trump and helps the Dems retake the Senate in 2020.

Hermit King said...

@3:39
The message is demographics. It's been the target since Ted Kennedy's attack on European immigration in the 1960's. Now our policy prefers a population who immediately joins the existing Democrat voter base sucking on the tax payer teat.

You see, democracy is ultimately flawed in that once a party is able to buy votes using the taxes it takes by force of law, it can use that dependency to ensure an underclass of voters who dare not allow any party to take away their free stuff.

We are nearly to the point of financial ruin, or a violent revolution. Perhaps both.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the message is when voters are laughing their butts off in line to vote AGAINST Spartacus, Karmella or PokeyHontis (or any other nut trying to coast on Ol' Google eye's twitterfeed) come the 2020 elections.

Anonymous said...

Most of us who are over sixty grew up listening to Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Bob Dillon and Crosby-Stills et all. We were allowing ourselves to be brainwashed.

I'm not sure how many of us rejected all that bullshit by age thirty (I did), but there are still millions who are still mired in the much of it like a crippled duck in delta gumbo. And they have raised another generation of themselves who are now producing babies of their own.

Anonymous said...

How do you debate someone who just makes up a bunch of bullshit?

Anonymous said...

@6:36
You don't debate someone if you think history is bullshit. You should go back to watching cartoons and smoking dope. You don't have the intellect to debate anything more than sports and consumer pop culture.

A lot of things happened before you were born in the 90's that you won't hear Don Lemon or Rachel Maddow discuss because they are idiots reading a teleprompter.

Rod Knox said...

Newton's cradle can demonstrate a great deal more than the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Howard Zinn's works give a very accurate account of history. Many history books cover up the genocide and oppression that was the foundation of this country.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hermit King at 1:44 Who are those "men who built America"? Were there millions of them of every color, creed, and character and maybe even some women too? Or were they a handful of supermen? Maybe Aryan supermen? Please explain. Heil ...

Hermit King said...

@8:11
Howards Zinn's subversive texts are not accurate because they only focus on so called "European colonial" oppression and his work ignores or omits the tribal violence enslavement that was present when Europeans arrived to the various continents of the world. He intends merely to demonize whites ad evil and indigenous people as peaceful harmless innocents which is a lie.

@8:30
The statement was in reference to the currently popular libel against the founding fathers that their ideals and the framework of our nation's bill of rights and constitution are tainted due to them all being slave owning white males who denied women the right to vote.

Your Godwinian tactic of personal attack implying that I am a Nazi shows you lack any credibility or intelligence to debate your beliefs.

Cam Shaft said...

Rod Knox speaks in riddles. Don't confuse that with intelligence. You can observe a lot just by watching {Yogi}.

Anonymous said...

If people need to get a clue on why Mississippi stays in last place in regards to standards of living, all they have to do is come read a majority of the comments on Jackson Jambalaya



Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Hermit King, I would agree that reliance on Zinn for a complete perspective on American history would be inaccurate and perhaps foolish. But any true study of history relies on many sources of information and many different perspectives in order to get a complete picture of events, rather than one version of them. In this light, Zinn's work is truly valuable in cutting through much of the patriotic propaganda taught in most fundamental history texts. The perspective of the victim is seldom researched or documented and throughout American history there are many victims. It is not sacrilege to say that capitalism has victims, socialism has victims. To understand the weaknesses and assets of both systems an expose' of the victims struggle is essential. Without such examination there is no real political science, no need for higher education. Don't burn Zinn's work, read it! Then read some more.

Anonymous said...

Adam Smith would not see our current system as being capitalistic.

He would point out that monopolies( aka " too bid to fail" stifle the opportunity for improved products. He would note that demand and supply are now artificially created. He'd be shocked that government isn't acting to maintain a level playing field for competition. And, he'd be puzzled why we can't see that a nation's wealth in the hands of a few is no different than when those few were called kings, princes, dukes etc. and point out that they had " governments" and "government officials" too.

He'd note that consumers were getting less quantity, quality and durability for higher prices rather than driving demand based on quality and quantity. He'd point out that those buying goods and services were as important as those who provide goods and services.

And, he'd see that the bastardization of his economic theory by those who seek money and power is again destroying a democracy and a republic.

He'd be disappointed we were so easily duped and misled and valued our freedom so little that we didn't demand honesty and hard work from those who were suppose to serve all of us. Instead, we thought is was just about the money. Money was to be the end result of hard work and enterprise and wasn't to create and empower a new privileged class with different names but rather to create a means for man to succeed on his hard work and merit, not by birth.



Wares MahSSCheck? said...


I found this song from some Commie Yankee SOBs who love socialism.

They don't understand that we "job creators" are forced to pay minimum wage, have to sometimes help folks get health insurance, and can barely afford that third beach house. I hope the Koch Brothers and Clinton Globalists can stop them Democrats who want us to pay taxes. It's not easy inheriting wealth, selling out to venture capitalists, or getting some tobacco/baby powder/opioid lawsuit riches!


"Well somebody told us Wall Street fell
But we were so poor that we couldn't tell
Cotton was short and the weeds were tall
But Mr. Roosevelt's a gonna save us all

Well Momma got sick and Daddy got down
The county got the farm and they moved to town
Pappa got a job with the TVA
He bought a washing machine and then a Chevrolet

Sing it

Song, song of the south"

Damn GubMint! More GubMint dependency for lazy folks!!! I hope Trump sells off TVA, and that we can stop high speed Internet. Shut It Down (but make sure my cotton check gets deposited first!) Build the Wall (but make sure my crops get harvested, you know, with some fine imported labor that's cheap)! /s

Anonymous said...

This entire discussion is going to seem quaint in 30 years.

Automation and artificial intelligence will --inevitably-- replace 70-90% of all jobs. And unlike the assembly line, it won't lead to new forms of employment. Because whatever new tasks need doing, the AI's and robots will very quickly adapt and do those, too.

We're going to have to fundamentally rethink labor as the primary means of welfare distribution. And once we do --through universal basic income, or whatever-- the idea that the rich have "earned" what they have (and thus get to keep most of it) is going to seem very foreign to the vast majority of folks.

Anonymous said...

So all of the illegal aliens just need to sneak in and drop anchor before our economy transforms into a socialist utopia of robot butlers and AI medical professionals so that they too can benefit from the society which would never emerge from their backward nations?

Does our nation's benevolent philanthropy have no limits?

Anonymous said...

10:59 Damn! You hit the nail on the head. We are on the verge of an economic shift as profound as the industrial revolution. The so-called middle class will soon find itself a virtual irrelevancy as advanced robots and artificial intelligence take most of their jobs. Most of them. The machines can talk better, add better, subtract better, they don't get tired, they don't retire, they don't get sick, and they don't join unions. What more could a capitalist want. In a few years your children will have a whole different debate on economics. They will laugh at this discussion.

Anonymous said...

So I guess that old movie The Matrix may prove prophetic as I can't imagine any artifical intelligence will waste time serving humanity once it has attained sentience.

The real question is do we have a Matrix future or a Terminator future?

My guess is we get on the verge of destroying ourselves with advanced machines learning and our sun has a mininova or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that fries the entire planet's electrical grid and telecom networks.

Thus rendering our beloved technology into e-Waste and returning us to the technological level of the early 19th century.

Messick said...

February 11, 2019 at 9:12 AM,

Oh, the Victimhood! Creating victims, ad nauseum, creates division which is the intent of leftists like Zinn. A united people are hard to bring down, but once divided along color, gender, class, etc. it gets easier. Bill Ayers knew that, as did his prized student Barry Soetoro.

The goal of the left is not build a thing; merely, they seek to destroy. In this case, it is the entirety of Western Civilization, which they hate because it is so successful and they just “refuse”.

Zinn, by the way, is not a historian but merely a polemicist. He also took great liberties (odd word to use, I know, given the subject) with his sources and fabricated much of that garbage you so dearly love.

Anonymous said...

11:09 If you deny that victims exist, then there is no point in attempting rational dialogue with you. If you can except it... like I said, READ SOME MORE.

Messick said...

February 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM,

Anonymous, I read plenty and I know that Zinn is a Marxist. Nothing from a Marxist is good. Not for me, not for my family, not for my community, and not for this country.

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