Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Barack Obama's relationship with the New Party.

The following appeared in the Post Journal written by Dr. Warren Throckmorton . I know nothing about either the publication or the author, but I had seen before that New Party had endorsed Obama (possibly the Illinois legislature web site).
    "The New Party is a political movement aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America. The New Party actually endorsed Barack Obama's successful 1996 Illinois state Senate campaign. Obama, in turn, encouraged New Party involvement in his voter education and registration efforts. According to a 1995 issue of the Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, the New Party required endorsed candidates to sign a contract to have a ''visible and active relationship'' with the party. While the New Party's influence has waned, the Democratic Socialists of America remain an active movement.

    What do the Democratic Socialists of America believe? Here is what the group's by-laws advocate:
      ... a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.

    Surely, we can all agree with the values of racial and gender equality and non-oppressive relationships. Free-market adherents believe in those principles as well. However, consider the group's support of income distribution. There, one can see the intellectual foundation for Barack Obama's answer to Mr. Wurzelbacher. Redistributing wealth, which is a foundational principle of socialism, is part and parcel of the Obama tax plan, even though Obama has avoided using the S-word.

    And why not? Despite periodic, and hopefully temporary, interventions in free markets (such as is occurring in the financial sector), most Americans do not want to live in a socialist economy. We value the personal freedoms inherent in a free-market economy.

    When the productive plumber protests that his tax burden will increase, Obama intuits the problem inherent in "equitable distribution." He says to his questioner, "It's not that I want to punish your success. ..."

    Unfortunately, punished success is precisely the kind of mischief that successful Americans fear. Obama's desire to "spread the wealth around" may not come with malevolent intent, but, to be sure, such policies, which, again, are advocated by the Democratic Socialists, may result in inhibitions of initiative and innovation.
    Rudolph Penner recently said on a C-Span call-in show that capitalism isn't perfect but it is better than the alternatives. Indeed, many have suggested that the current mortgage mess derives from well-intended attempts to spread the wealth around. In unraveling the causes of the housing bust, one finds multiple targets of blame. However, it seems clear that government policies which encouraged home ownership beyond a borrower's means were part of the chaos. In light of the federal government's inability to manage markets, it is a fair question to ask: Do we need more central planning or less?

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