Why can’t we be more like Sweden? That’s what Bernie Sanders’ Millennial voters (according to the National Review, he won more than 70 percent of the under-30 vote in the first 25 primaries where polling data was available) want to know.
I must beg forgiveness from my faithful readers. I was AWOL for the end of May and just about the entire month of June due to a bacterial infection in my innards. That I actually did any photography was a miracle of God and extremely tight timing. I had to use one business’ restroom three times and was unable to stay until the customers arrived for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. The business and the mayor kindly accommodated me by performing the ribbon-cutting ahead of time.
Beyond those photo assignments (my only source of income at the moment), I mostly spent my time lying on the couch (almost asleep), in bed (never asleep), and in the bathroom the remainder of the time. I had no energy to even read my issues of National Review, which contained some erudite and interesting articles on the fantastical nature of this presidential election.
Emily Ekins, director of polling at the Cato Institute, wrote a succinct and insightful piece on the Sanders’ youth’s definition of Socialism. In short, they really don’t know what it actually means. They only know, according to Ekins, that we are not like Scandinavia, or more specifically Sweden.
“In part, because they did not live through the Cold War,” Ekins writes, “Millennials find the ‘socialism’ label less alarming. ‘Socialism,’ to the Millennial mind doesn’t mean the Soviet Union; it means Scandinavia, a place far gentler.
‘Scandinavia, however, isn’t socialist so much as ‘socialistic,’ in that its governments provide generous social services, impose value-added taxes (or VATS), and collect high income taxes. What Millennials like is the large social-welfare state that provides for people’s needs.’
In other words, it makes the “Fiercely Frail Millennials” (the title of a NR article preceding Ekins’) feel good.
“Young Americans,” Elkins continues, “support this Scandinavian version of “socialism” for several reasons. First, Scandinavia shows them that large, social-welfare states need not be politically repressive [with smaller populations, they need not be], Second, the Great Recession, not the Cold War, has defined their youth. Financial insecurity may incline them to see value in activist government.”
“Sanders’ use of the label [“Democratic Socialism”] has helped legitimize socialism and the Scandinavian model specifically. Political scientists have found that, rather than choose a candidate whose views match their own, voters often change their views to align with the candidates they’ve chosen.”
Voters change their views after the primaries, where party politics tend to choose their candidates for them. The RNC’s “choices” are not coincidentally more aligned with the Left; RINO Republicans like John Boehner were strongly supported by Democratic-aligned staffers and donor organizations, including George Soros’ think thanks such as the Center for American Progress.
Boehner’s Chief of Staff, Barry S. Jackson, is connected to the American Action Network (board member), the National Endowment for Democracy (director), and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (trustee). Some of the AAN’s board members have some questionable associations: Norm Coleman (Minn. Co-chmn, 1996 Bill Clinton Presidential Campaign); Frederic V. Malek (Aspen Institute and founder of the AAN); John Vincent Weber (Aspen Institute; Seed Institute; dir., NPR).
Past directors such as Melquiades Martinez (Center for the Study of the Presidency; Habitat for Humanity) have hidden funding ties to George Soros’ foundations. Jackson is also tied to the National Endowment for Democracy. A search into the NED leads to a whole garden of progress and Soros-sponsored think tanks including the Center for American Progress, the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, Human Rights Watch. Among NED’s directors are Karen Bass (Congressional Progressive Caucus); William J. Burns, ambassador to Russia; Martin Frost, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Martin Frost; and Moises Naim (Open Society Foundations global board committee member).
Nice company for the former Republican House Speaker’s chief of staff to be keeping.
What about his buddy in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. Who was his campaign manager Jesse Benton buttering up to? His fundraiser hosts, John K. Castle and Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.?
Benton was mainly concerned with the Pauls, Ron and Rand. Castle seemed to be more interested in Catholic charities and his alma maters. Wilbur L. Ross was a contributor to Restore Our Future. But this group ran ads against Newt Gingrich and for Mitt Romney (who ultimately lost). The notorious Black Rock Group was ROF’s consulting firm. But ROF was also supported by Americans for Prosperity. So the evidence doesn’t weigh as heavily against McConnell as against Boehner. At least not initially. But his name isn’t “Mitch” McConnell; it’s Addison Mitchell McConnell.
Addison’s Chief of Staff is Sharon Soderstrom. More interesting is his marriage to Elaine Chao. Her father, James, was former Chinese president Jiang Zemin’s college roommate. Wait. What?!
Anyway, his one-time chief of staff, Gordon Hunter Bates, is affiliated with the Center for Competitive Politics. The CCP has plenty of what you would consider Conservative groups (Americans for Prosperity) and few Liberal funders. Mitch McConnell would seem to be the proverbial runaway horse who, despite his many funders, is running headlong towards the Progressives.
The current Speaker of the House has more going for him; Paul Ryan’s associates are much better, though he still leans toward Moderate, at least he’s still right of the center.
However, Sanders’ Millennials probably have no idea who Addison McConnell is or what he does, nor do they care.
“Many young people are disposed to find [Sander’s] message compelling because of certain conventions in the culture they were raised in. Take sports. Reason-Rupe finds college-age Millennials to be the only cohort with a majority (51 percent) supporting participation trophies, with most older Americans saying that trophies should be reserved for those who win their events.”
And competition in those events for those who actually want to compete in them.
Ekins writes that most Americans hope that the Millennials will come around and reject Socialism once they get jobs. Well, when is that going to happen? I know of a young college graduate, a good student and fellow, who at least four years later, is still looking for a job (although he has had to cope with caring for an ailing parent).
“The time has come,” Ekins says, “to start explaining to the next generation how socialistic economic planning hurts people.”
Without using Scandinavia as an example. Norway, Sweden and Denmark have social-welfare states, but they outrank the United States in other economic freedom indices such as less business regulation, lower corporate taxes, and more tax freedom. Companies are more than happy to do business there. These same countries which are liberal with their businesses, heavily regulate the social services which they exercise over their population.
The question is: do these businesses actually employ a significant number of people? Or do their corporate taxes simply go to supporting a majority of people who do not work at all, but simply depend upon the socialist taxes?
The key to explaining “socialism” to Millennials, Ekins writes, “is to highlight that government control often leads to inefficient supply, rationing, and reductions in innovation and in quality of services.”
Millennials are at the beginning of their adult lives and are little concerned with how, say, the Veterans Administration treats its medical patients. In their blindness, the Millennials figure trade school is for the “dummies,” not them. Degree inflation has made the bachelor’s degree as worthless as the high school diploma once was. So the students take out loans, or their parents take out second mortgages, to finance ever higher, or multiple, graduate degrees in order to compete. That is, if they can get into one of the major schools, where Progressive professors await them with Marxist glee.
Ekins is confident that if Socialism is explained to them properly, Millennials can eventually be steered in the right direction to support free markets and limited government. First, though, you have to get them to pay attention – and to do that, you have to yank the I-pads out of their hands, douse them with cold water after so many sessions smoking pot, and send them into therapy to decultify them from their Marxist education.