Finding a Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections espousing free market solutions to today’s problems – most of which are government created – is like trying to locate a Native American in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) heritage. It’s just impossible. But that’s the current state of the Democratic Party, a political force that is veering father left and ignoring their centrist base.
While it is true that the Democrats have never really been a party espousing the principles of the free-enterprise system or the ideas of economist Milton Friedman, it seems like this generation of liberals, particularly the younger ones, are aiming to dismantle capitalism and turning it into a slur.
Ever since the days of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, every new crop of Democrats can only think of government as a solution rather than an impediment to progress and prosperity.
They are clueless about economics.
Look at the flavors of the month right now: Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s Democratic candidate for governor; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist it-girl who seems a lock to win her New York seat; and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), the potential 2020 presidential candidate. These are all individuals who want to increase the size and scope of the state and make Americans rely on the government from cradle to grave. One of these Democratic darlings even went as far as to concede she is “sick and tired of hearing about the free market being the solution.”
One thing is for sure about the Democrats in this election: They are clueless about economics.
Abrams’s Econ Ignorance
Stacey Abrams, the gubernatorial candidate currently in a neck-and-neck race with her GOP opponent, Brian Kemp, revealed her disdain for the free market recently while speaking at a so-called men’s town hall. But it wasn’t even her loathing of the market that was surprising. It was her ignorance of basic economics.
She told the audience:
“And I am sick and tired of hearing about the free market being the solution to this problem because I’ve never seen the free market write a prescription in rural Georgia. I mean, I’ve never seen the free market show up and give someone Metformin so they can have a little bit of control of their diabetes before it turns into an amputation of their foot. I’ve never seen the free market say I’m going to replace that stint in your heart next door and not make you go 200 miles to get it done.
The problem with the free market is the free market needs to make a profit and there is no profit in doing the right thing.”
There is so much to unpack in this statement, but let’s concentrate on Metformin and profit.
Metformin, also known as Glucophage, is a medication used to control high blood sugar and is mostly taken by patients with type 2 diabetes. It was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in the 1990s and is sold for as little as $5 per month in the U.S. Believe it or not, Bristol-Myers did not start manufacturing the pill for kicks or for charitable purposes. Its pursuit was driven primarily by profit, and that’s not a sin.
Abrams wasn’t satisfied with burning the Georgia flag, it seems. She now feels the need to burn down capitalism as well.
It turns out that Metformin is considered to be a “wonder drug” for not just Americans with diabetes, but for individuals with a whole host of medical problems. Lewis Cantley, the director of the Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, noted that “Metformin may have already saved more people from cancer deaths than any drug in history.”
Without the profit incentive, what desire is there for a company to invest in research and development (R&D) and the expensive and lengthy approval process with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
Abrams wasn’t satisfied with burning the Georgia flag, it seems. She now feels the need to burn down capitalism as well.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
A Jobs Program
Ocasio-Cortez’s wacky ideas have been well documented and analyzed since her rise to stardom. But if you think her proposals and statements couldn’t get any more asinine, then take a gander at this.
As part of her Medicare for All push, Ocasio-Cortez revealed on Twitter that a key facet of the initiative contains “a jobs program to transition + expand healthcare work.” Not only does the young socialist want to offer a jobs guarantee for all Americans, she also wants to distort the labor market.
Since she studied economics at Boston University, Ocasio-Cortez should be aware that markets clear, including labor, meaning that the quantity of supply is equal to the quantity of demand (equilibrium).
Her proposal would achieve a distortion in jobs and produce inefficiencies in labor and healthcare.
Napoleon Economics has never been a successful concept – in theory or practice. And, like the dictator, her proposal is a bit short on logic.
Basic Income Guarantee
Senator Harris will likely run for president. In a world dominated by identity politics, she has everything in her favor to win the nomination: female, black, progressive, and, ostensibly, a loathing for small government.
The lawmaker unveiled her support for a partial basic income guarantee. Under her plan, a Harris government would offer up to $6,000 per year – or up to $500 a month – to low-income families. It wouldn’t replace the bloated welfare state; the plan would complement it. To fund the policy, the senator wants to repeal several aspects of the Republican Tax law, telling The Atlantic:
“Last year, Congress gave a trillion dollars in tax breaks to corporations. That money should have gone to American taxpayers who need it instead of handing it over to corporations and the top 1 percent.”
Free money? Sign me up!
She may not realize it, but Harris agrees with President Donald Trump and the Republicans about the ballooning budget deficit. The senator is just advocating a different way of deficit spending; not returning the fruits of their labor to taxpayers but handing out presents ahead of Christmas morning.
Basic income schemes are antithetical to elementary economics. When they were first proposed, they were meant to replace the bureaucratic and expensive welfare state. They’re now supposed to be an additional unaffordable entitlement. But when did a politician ever care about the price-tag anyway?
Economics in 2018
Economics has unfortunately metastasized into a vile term in today’s toxic political arena, and it is evident that the Democrats are deciding with reckless abandon to throw it into the waste bin for votes. To the left, profit is evil, everything is a human right, and the solution to all that ails the nation is more government, which is code for free stuff. This might not be great for the country or its finances, but in the quest to oust President Trump and the Republicans and regain power, nothing else matters.