Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Professor Nicholas Carnes's Warmed-Over Marxism is Not what We Need in Washington

Nicholas Carnes, an assistant professor of public policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, has proposed a solution to the mess in Washington: Elect more middle and working class politicians. This new wave of politicians, Carnes argues in a NJ Star-Ledger editorial, Can blue collar pols fix this white collar mess?, will "probably go much further to protect the middle and working classes if more of them came from those classes themselves."

What does Carnes mean by "protect?" Today, he says of the people represented by the politicians currently in power:

We’re letting people who have always had health insurance decide whether to help people without it. We’re letting people with personal fortunes that insulate them from the rest of society decide how much to spend on the schools and hospitals and other public goods that everyone else depends on.

Get that? To "protect the middle and working classes" does not mean to protect their rights. "Protect" means to empower them to force others to provide them with unearned benefits—as if, under the burgeoning weight of today's welfare state, people's wealth isn't already being forcibly redistributed on a mass scale.

I left these comments:

The question one must first ask is: How did the middle and working "classes" get so dependent on government spending to begin with? The workers' champions themselves—the ivory tower Marxists and their wealthy political shills—did it to them. Who funded this dependence? In large measure the wealthy, but also the workers themselves.

So, to what end do we need more blue collar politicians?; to hook blue collar workers into even greater dependence on forcibly redistributing wealth from those who earned to those who didn't? To further cripple the job market and stifle the opportunities of the young with higher minimum wage laws, more occupational licensure cartelization; more labor law mandates on those who create and maintain jobs?; to further burden business and the most productive entrepreneurial individuals—the very people who produce the material goods, productivity tools, and remunerative jobs that a prosperous "working class" depends on—with more taxes and regulations?

Mr. Carnes's "solution" is just warmed over Marxism with its "class struggle" fantasies. We don't need more Marxist politicians. We don't need a government that favors workers over "the rich", rather than the other way around. We don't need a government that favors "the will of the people"—the economic interests of the electoral majority-of-the-moment—over the will of all others. 

We need politicians who understand the proper role of government; one that represents all of the people by protecting the individual rights of all people, at all times, to pursue their values by their own efforts; to keep the property they earn; to voluntarily associate, contract, and trade with others—and then begins rolling back government's massive intrusions into our lives based on those principles.

Related Reading:

The Shadow of Marx Blankets the "Fiscal Cliff" Fight

Marxism "Begins with Theft and Ends with Murder"—Ari Armstrong

Related Listening:

"Why Marxism?" An Evening at FEE with C. Bradley Thompson—Foundation for Economic Education

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