Hillary Clinton’s ‘New College Compact’ Raises An Important Question: Did She Ever Take Econ 101?

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Today’s version of “a chicken in every pot” is Hillary Clinton’s proposed plan to “make college affordable and available to every American.” This is political catnip, pure and simple. And it is a more delusory form of catnip than Herbert Hoover’s “chicken”; for while everybody needs enough to eat, not everybody needs to go to college.

There is today an oversupply of college degrees. A Federal Reserve study found that half of recent graduates were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree or not employed at all. For Mrs. Clinton to propose spending $350 billion to subsidize college attendance will exacerbate rather than reduce the glut of college-educated Americans. To propose such wastefulness when federal debt already exceeds $18 trillion is fiscally irresponsible and a slap at American taxpayers. It will also increase the number of graduates experiencing disillusionment when they realize the lack of market demand for their degrees.

The increasingly overt socialistic nature of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign theme is glaringly evident in her “New College Compact.” She laments: “For too long, families have been left to bear the burden of crushing costs” of a college education. Heaven forbid that Americans be expected to pay for what they consume! (A quick “thank you” here to those whose generosity funds academic scholarships to highly qualified and motivated students from poor backgrounds.) Who does Mrs. Clinton think should pay if not the consumer? Her plan explicitly specifies that the federal and state governments (i.e., the taxpayer) should foot the bill at public universities and colleges.

Along with state financing, Hillary Clinton advocates increased state control. She thinks that government should micro-manage post-secondary institutions by telling colleges where they must spend their money (less on administrative expenses), commanding colleges to accept junior college credits (regardless of the four-year colleges’ own academic standards), and deciding when to waive accreditation standards.

Clinton’s disfavor of the private sector is obvious: She expresses sympathy for students with “an expensive degree from a for-profit institution,” only to find that a degree doesn’t lead to a job. Why single out graduates of for-profit colleges and universities when the same disappointment befalls many graduates of not-for-profit institutions, too? And why should students who agree to work for government receive earlier cancellation of their debts than private-sector workers? That’s a double-whammy on the taxpayer, whose taxes first would subsidize the student’s education and then pay the student’s salary after college. And why is it necessary for government to make sure that community colleges offer more “two-year degrees and certificate programs that are valued by employers”? Why can’t private educational entrepreneurs survey the marketplace to discern what degrees and certificates are valued and then profit by providing them?

As for the horrendous problem of college debt blunting the lives of millions of younger Americans, Clinton doesn’t acknowledge that the federal loan program is responsible. If she were not so ideologically averse to the private sector, she might see privatization of the college loan market as the solution. First, though, bankruptcy laws should be revised to include college debt. It is anomalous and unjust to allow mature adults with decades of business experience to erase their debts via bankruptcy if they make a miscalculation, but to deny such mercy and financial relief to young, inexperienced adults. If private lenders issued college loans, and they knew that bankruptcy was an option for young borrowers, then those lenders would calculate that risk. They wouldn’t lend tens of thousands of dollars to students floundering for five or six years or students taking courses that have little value to the job marketplace, and so the glut of over-educated/under-employed young people would shrink.

There is one aspect of Clinton’s higher education plan that makes some ethical, if not economic, sense. Ethically speaking, it seems unfair for the Fed to have engineered low borrowing costs for Uncle Sam while at the same time not sharing some of its windfall by refinancing student debt at lower rates. (Many students are still paying off loans at seven, eight, or nine percent.)

Economically speaking, though, Hillary Clinton has no business promising that the federal government “won’t profit off student loans.” While “profit” apparently is a dirty word to Clinton, any loan program should generate enough interest income to pay for the salaries, offices, etc., of those administering the loan. If the federal college loan program doesn’t cover its own costs, then, once again, the long-suffering taxpayer gets stuck with those costs. The economically rational approach is to let the private sector figure out what an economically viable loan market for college education looks like. Economic losses to our society would decline by billions if privatization of student loans supplanted the socialistic status quo.

The New College Compact proposed by Hillary Clinton is economically wasteful central planning, all wrapped up in the beguiling garb of Santa Claus politics. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer (in this case, the American taxpayer and voter) beware. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Here’s Why It’s Idiotic To Conflate Fascism With Right Wing Ideology

There are many logical incongruities that are maintained on a populist level, especially when it comes to politics. Not least of these is the composition of the political spectrum in identifying ideologies and systems of governance. The most common fallacy is identifying fascism as a right-wing ideology, even though its ideological roots originate in the left-wing extremist models of communism and socialism.

The most pervasive political spectrum is loosely based on a left/right orientation, and attempts to place political models somewhere along the continuum. But for a political spectrum to have any meaningful representation, it must be based on some set of absolute values. Since every system of governance has unique characteristics, those can hardly be used for the absolute reference points from which to measure.

Since a spectrum is in fact a continuum, the absolute extremes must be established so that all variations and deviations from those extremes can be accurately charted. For example, light and dark, heat and cold, the band of waves of the electromagnetic spectrum, all measure from one extreme to the other. So it is with the political spectrum. Since governments establish order based on the regulation of the activities of the members of their respective societies, the correct extremes for the political spectrum delineate the degree of individual freedom allowed. And traditionally, that has been demarcated as left to right; least freedom, to most freedom; totalitarianism to anarchy.

And because the spectrum is a continuum, from one extreme to the other, it is a straight line. It doesn’t curve around, or circumvent the scale at any point. It is a continuous, single-dimensional range from one extreme to the other. And with individual freedom, there are only two absolute points of reference: maximum freedom (anarchy), or no freedom (totalitarianism). With those absolutes established at the ends of the spectrum, all systems of governance can be effectively placed on the spectrum, and scaled based on the degree or level of individual freedom–or conversely, the degree of state control over the individual.

Some political scientists have maintained that a single left-right axis is inadequate, and have consequently often added biaxial spectra distinguishing between varying issues. This is unnecessary when broadly identifying systems of governance based on a continuum of individual freedom; for ancillary factors and characteristics inevitably integrate into the dominant ideological model.

On the political spectrum, the furthest to the left, the more totalitarian the government is. Centralized planning and governmental control over the lives of individuals is characteristic of all forms of socialism, whether Communist or the Nationalist variety (fascism); and the state assumes preeminence over individual rights when taken to the extreme.

The furthest to the right on the political spectrum, the more individual liberty is advanced. Taken to its extreme is anarchy. When analyzed logically, then, National Socialism and fascism are wholly incongruent philosophically and practically to the right of the spectrum. Those who refer to Nazism as “right-wing” are politically ill-informed and have fallen for Stalin’s tactic of referring to them as such. One scholar makes the point that Nazism is to Communism what Pepsi is to Coke: basically the same but with a little different flavor.

Economically, fascism advocates control of business and labor, not ownership of it as communism advocates. In fact, Mussolini called his system the “Corporate State.” Even the term “totalitarianism” derives from Mussolini’s concept of the preeminence of the “total state.”

Indeed, European fascism is an offshoot of Marxism, the theoretical framework for communism and socialism. The founding father to fascism, Benito Mussolini, in 1919 established the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, which by 1921 became the National Fascist Party. He was born and raised a socialist. His father was a member of the same internationale as Marx and Engels. His father read him Das Kapital as a bedtime story. He was kicked out of the Italian Socialist Party in 1914 for supporting World War I, which he believed would save socialism, and stubbornly declared that he’d die a socialist.

This all makes much more sense logically, when the destructive and pejorative elements to Nazism, which was fascistic, are considered. The Brown Shirts, SS (Schutzstaffel), Gestapo, pogroms, anti-Semitism, genocide, eugenics, etc. ad nauseam are all products of oppressive, totalitarian ideology, not one that believes in more freedom.

Disturbingly, there is an American statism based ideologically on similar principles to European fascism. Our statist movement has the same ideological connections with those in Europe, reliant on philosophical components of Hegel, Weber, Marx, Kung, and Sartre. It’s harmonious in principle to Joseph Goebbels’, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, statement that “To be a socialist is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.”

America’s version also seeks to concentrate power in the state at the expense of individual liberty. As philosopher Leonard Piekoff states, it “does not represent a new approach to government; but is a continuation of the political absolutism — the absolute monarchies, the oligarchies, the theocracies, the random tyrannies — which has characterized most of human history.” It seeks to suppress criticism and opposition to the government. It denounces and eschews individualism, capitalism and inequity in compensation. It seeks out and targets enemies of the people like corporations and those not supportive of their collectivist objectives. Clearly, even American statism is fascistic, and distinctly characteristic of the political left.

Historically, ideologically, and etymologically, fascism is a stepchild to Marxist theory. While differences exist between these isms, they are all oppressive, and are among the most totalitarian forms of government in the 20th century.

Any attempts to describe the political spectrum as “circular,” rather than “linear,” are logically untenable. Any attempt to conflate fascism with the American right on the spectrum is historically revisionist and wholly illogical. It only fits with an inane and politically motivated model for casting aspersions; for it has no basis in historical, logical, or ideological fact.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Democrats And Socialists – A Distinction Without A Difference

Sometimes what’s not said in response to a direct inquiry is more noteworthy than what is said. When the chairman of the Democrat National Committee was asked recently what the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist was, she sidestepped the issue and went a totally divergent direction. It would have provided a valuable service if she’d answered the question directly; for there seems to be no substantive distinction.

“What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. The DNC chairman started to laugh, so Matthews tried again. “I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think?” Wasserman-Schultz started to sidestep the issue again, so Matthews tried a third time. “Yeah, but what’s the big difference between being a Democrat and being a socialist? You’re the chairwoman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.” Intentionally avoiding Matthew’s question, she responded, “The difference between—the real question is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican.” Her dogmatically superficial and fallacious explication ensued.

A little later, NBC’s Chuck Todd, on Meet the Press, asked the same question, which she responded to very similarly, choosing to answer a question not asked. But when the Matthews interview is looked at contextually, she may have already answered the question when she called Bernie Sanders “a good Democrat.”

That’s a significant statement even at face value; for Bernie Sanders, the junior senator from Vermont and a Democrat candidate for president, is a self-avowed socialist. He’s officially an Independent, but caucuses with the Democrats and votes with them 98% of the time, according to Socialistworker.org.

The significance increases further when Sanders’ burgeoning popularity in the Democrat presidential polls is analyzed. Having started out in single-digit support just two months ago, Sanders has significantly reduced frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s lead. In Sanders’ neighboring state of New Hampshire, one of the early voting states, Sanders now leads Clinton by 7%. Considering only 38% of Americans feel Clinton is “trustworthy,” it’s surprising the former Secretary of State has any lead in any polls, anywhere.

Sanders is attracting larger campaign crowds than any of the other presidential candidates. Last week, he attracted nearly 28,000 in Los Angeles, 28,000 in Portland, Oregon, and over 15,000 in Seattle.

When looking at his proposals, it’s difficult to identify any substantive differences from mainstream Democrat Party doctrine. Sanders is pushing for universal single-payer health care; supports redistribution of wealth; advocates “free” college; fosters an antipathy toward corporations and “big business”; wants military spending cut by 50%; opposes natural resource development for energy; advocates government control and solutions for all economic or cultural challenges; and emphasizes egalitarianism rather than merit and achievement.

These tenets fit comfortably under the socialist umbrella, which, in general terms, is “An economic and political system based on public or collective ownership of the means of production. Socialism emphasizes equality rather than achievement, and values workers by the amount of time they put in rather than by the amount of value they produce. It also makes individuals dependent on the state for everything from food to health care. While capitalism is based on a price system, profit and loss and private property rights, socialism is based on bureaucratic central planning and collective ownership,” according to Investopedia.

There are some distinctions that should be made, however. The American variety of socialism (liberalism and progressivism) has a democratic component that doesn’t require a revolution, as many of the European and Asian models featured, but rather relies upon a democratic vote to incorporate. This necessitates the means to organize communities and proliferate propaganda, in order to effect electoral change. Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals rose in direct response to that need, as a playbook for societal polarization and proliferation of socialist objectives. And perhaps not coincidentally, Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College on the Alinsky model; and President Obama taught it as a community organizer and has implemented it to perfection nationally.

Jason Riley, a Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow, wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week: “Mr. Sanders’s socialism appeals mainly to upper-middle-class professionals and fits neatly within the parameters of mainstream, income-inequality-obsessed Democratic politics in the 21st century. He may have an affinity for a political ideology that has given the world everything from the Soviet Gulag to modern-day Greece, but in this age of Obama, the senator is just another liberal with a statist agenda.”

Founded in individual liberty, America has always been the one nation under heaven where equality of opportunity has taken precedence over equality of outcome. The whole concept of the “American Dream” is based on the individual freedom to become, to achieve, to build, sell, and succeed. This requires individual freedom (which is diminished proportionate to expanded governmental power) and a free market economy (not centralized planning, or government control over the means of production). Consequently, socialism is philosophically, morally, and pragmatically antithetical to American values. Deductively, it is clearly anti-American.

Which brings us back to the chairman of the DNC. With the apparent inability to make any substantive distinction between the major tenets of socialism and the contemporary Democrat Party, it’s perfectly understandable that Wasserman-Shultz would not attempt to note any contradistinction. For as Riley observed in his WSJ piece, “These days, it’s largely a distinction without a difference.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: An Errant Environmental Encyclical Courtesy Of Pope Francis

The Laudato Si encyclical on climate, sustainability and the environment prepared by and for Pope Francis is often eloquent, always passionate but often encumbered by platitudes, many of them erroneous.

“Man has slapped nature in the face,” and “nature never forgives,” the pontiff declares. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as in the last 200 years.” It isn’t possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society. “Each year thousands of species are being lost,” and “if we destroy creation, it will destroy us.”

The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. Therefore, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor, who must be given their “sacred rights” to labor, lodging and land (the Three L’s).

All of this suggests that, for the most part, Pope Francis probably welcomes statements by his new friends in the United Nations and its climate and sustainability alliance.

One top Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official bluntly says climate policy is no longer about environmental protection; instead, the next climate summit will negotiate “the distribution of the world’s resources.” UN climate chief Christiana Figueres goes even further. UN bureaucrats, she says, are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model.” [emphasis added]

However, statements by other prominent prophets of planetary demise hopefully give the pope pause.

Obama science advisor John Holdren and Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, in their Human Ecology book: “We need to de-develop the United States” and other developed countries, “to bring our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” We will then address the “ecologically feasible development of the underdeveloped countries.” [emphasis added]

Ehrlich again: “Giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” And most outrageous: The “instant death control” provided by DDT was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in poor countries; so they need to have a “death rate solution” imposed on them.

Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns do not stop with opposing DDT even as a powerful insect repellant to prevent malaria. They view humans (other than themselves) as consumers, polluters and “a plague upon the Earth” – never as creators, innovators or protectors. They oppose modern fertilizers and biotech foods that feed more people from less land, using less water. And of course they are viscerally against all forms and uses of hydrocarbon energy, which yields far more energy per acre than alternatives.

Reflect on all of this a moment. Unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats have given themselves the authority to upend the world economic order and redistribute its wealth and resources – with no evidence that any alternative they might have in mind will bring anything but worse poverty, inequality and death.

Moreover, beyond the dishonest, arrogant and callous attitudes reflected in these outrageous statements, there are countless basic realities that the encyclical and alarmist allies sweep under the rug.

We are trying today to feed, clothe, and provide electricity, jobs, homes, and better health and living standards to six billion more people than lived on our planet 200 years ago. Back then, reliance on human and animal muscle, wood and dung fires, windmills and water wheels, and primitive, backbreaking, dawn-to-dusk farming methods made life nasty, brutish and short for the vast majority of humans.

As a fascinating short video by Swedish physician and statistician Hans Rosling illustrates, human life expectancy and societal wealth has surged dramatically over these past 200 years.

None of this would have been possible without the capitalism, scientific method and hydrocarbon energy that radical, shortsighted activists in the UN, EPA, Big Green, Inc. and Vatican now want to put in history’s dustbin.

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels – mostly coal – helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating, often lethal energy and economic poverty. However, 1.3 billion still do not have electricity. In India alone, more people than live in the USA still lack electricity; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 730 million (equal to Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung.

Hundreds of millions get horribly sick–and 4-6 million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and unspoiled food.

Providing energy, food, homes and the Three L’s to middle class and impoverished families cannot happen without nuclear and hydrocarbon energy and numerous raw materials. Thankfully, we still have these resources in abundance because “our ultimate resource” (our creative intellect) has enabled us to use “fracking” and other technologies to put Earth’s resources to productive use serving humanity.

Little solar panels on huts, subsistence and organic farming, and bird-and-bat-butchering wind turbines have serious cost, reliability and sustainability problems of their own. If Pope Francis truly wants to help the poor, he cannot rely on these “alternatives” or on UN and Big Green ruling elite wannabes. Who are they to decide what is “ecologically feasible,” what living standards people will be “permitted” to enjoy, or how the world should “more fairly” share greater scarcity, poverty and energy deprivation?

We are all obligated to help protect our planet and its people – from real problems, not imaginary ones. Outside the computer modelers’ windows, in The Real World, we are not running out of energy and raw materials. (We’re just not allowed to develop and use them.) The only species going extinct have been birds on islands where humans introduced new predators – and raptors that have been wiped out by giant wind turbines across habitats in California and other locations. Nor are we encountering climate chaos.

No category 3-5 hurricane has struck the USA in a record 9-3/4 years. (Is that blessing due to CO2 and capitalism?) There has been no warming in 19 years because the sun has gone quiet again. We have not been battered by droughts more frequent or extreme than what humanity experienced many times over the millennia, including those that afflicted biblical Egypt, the Mayas and Anasazi, and Dust Bowl America.

The scientific method brought centuries of planetary and human progress. It requires that we propose and test hypotheses that explain how nature works. If experimental evidence supports a hypothesis, we have a new rule that can guide further health and scientific advances. If the evidence contradicts the hypothesis, we must devise a new premise – or give up on further progress.

But with climate change, a politicized method has gained supremacy. Based on ideology, it ignores real-world evidence and fiercely defends its assumptions and proclamations. Laudato Si places the Catholic Church at risk of surrendering its role as a champion of science and human progress, and returning to the ignominious persecution of Galileo.

Nor does resort to sustainable development provide guidance. Sustainability is largely interchangeable with “dangerous manmade climate change” as a rallying cry for anti-hydrocarbon, wealth redistribution and economic transformation policies. It means whatever particular interests want it to mean and has become yet one more intolerant ideology in college and government circles.

Climate change and sustainability are critical moral issues. Denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy is not just wrong. It is immoral – and lethal.

It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to implement policies that pretend to protect the world’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate and other dangers decades from now – by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Why Discrimination Is Important In A Free Society

In the United States, there are many laws and regulations that seek to level the playing field for those considered to be less fortunate. When using a term such as “less fortunate,” one is most often referring to those who are “poor,” or discriminated against based on social or racial determinations. In order for the previous statement to be meaningful in any way, it must also be qualified.  To accomplish this, it must first be determined who will decide the definition of “poor” and who will decide exactly which behaviors are “discriminatory.” Once an “arbiter” has been determined, then the business of deciding what constitutes “poor” or “discrimination” can be concluded. The problem is that these criteria must be determined by a human being, and as such are relative and in the end discriminatory in and of themselves.

Discrimination is a fundamental component of freedom by which Individuals within each society determine with whom they will do business with, and associate with. The only type of true equality that will ever be obtained is the equality of freedom, which requires the ability to discriminate. In order for a society to have maximal freedom, the right to discriminate must be left in the hands of the individual and not transferred to the state. If one prefers freedom, then discrimination is not only good–but it is also necessary.

Ironically, the harder we reach for economic and social equality through government intervention, the further we remove ourselves from liberty–truly the only kind of equality that is obtainable.  “Economic Justice” and “Social Justice” are doublespeak; and as George Orwell defined it, “Language used to deceive usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth” (“Doublespeak,” def. 1A). The true intention of such “justice” is to redistribute wealth and opportunity through its own form of discrimination backed by government force. Ostensibly, the claim is that it will more evenly distribute freedom; however, what is not discussed is the coercive discrimination required to obtain this result. Discrimination has not been eliminated, but instead placed into the hand of a central group of individuals who, by using “right think,” will determine who should be discriminated against. This ensures that the “right group” of individuals are discriminated against and that a monopoly on discrimination has been given to government.  Discrimination has in no way been reduced or eliminated, but instead legitimized as a coercive tool of the state. It is because of this that a society that practices “economic justice” is in no way more just.

Morals are important to this argument, as well as ethics. As a society, it was decided a long time ago that breaking into your neighbor’s house and making off with the valuables would be wrong, and that mugging people under the threat of violence was immoral.  If so, then is it more ethical if two people mug you? What about three people? How about sixty people? It could be surmised that most individuals would feel that it would be wrong no matter how many people were involved. The removal of one’s property at gunpoint is considered wrong, regardless of how many people were to do this. Most civilized human beings determined some time ago that property must be protected, and that due process was required to remove it. In short, not even a group calling themselves “government” has the right to confiscate wealth from individuals, even if every citizen but the one with the property supported it. When a government begins telling individuals how they must manage their wealth, and with whom they must do business, it is reasonable to assume that these individuals are being treated as if they do not actually own their property. Government laws that allow an external entity to dictate how a property owner interacts with employees or customers should rightly be considered fascistic, regardless of their purpose. This does not include acts of non-defensive violent force committed by the property owner against others, of course.

Considering that economic justice in the United States often requires government agencies that hire to make discriminatory decisions based on race, social, and economic criteria, economic justice ironically becomes unjust. In order to even the “playing field,” an injustice must be done to one person in order to make it more “just” for another. The very term “Economic Justice” implies that somewhere, an economic injustice must have been done. If government is allowed to determine for property owners that a person must be hired for a job or given a loan solely based on race, and another person is denied these things based on race, one could argue that no economic or social injustice has been avoided. The determining factor against either party is race, which is outside of either’s control. Either side would truly be justified in feeling wronged. If the determination is made that there are more poor people of one racial group than another, and therefore the poorer of the two groups must have economic justice, then a moral injustice is done to the individuals of one group to help the other. Can you really have justice through injustice? The injustice committed against one to create justice for another is no justice at all, but also results in no economic progress at all.

The second problem with economic justice resides in the fact that as human beings, all value perceptions are relative’ and determinations of concepts like poverty and fairness change from one individual to another. It is because of this that one might find it is very easy to approve of taking from others and giving to themselves; and this is a primary failing of democratic representative government, especially when attempting to implement “social” or “economic justice.” Those in the majority are typically fond of voting themselves portions of other people’s property. This is always grounded on relative justifications of fairness. Economic Justice is a prime example of what Frederic Bastiat was referring to when he said that “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” It is one group of citizens and their supporters obtaining portions of the property of others through government intervention. This expropriation is often in the form of outright property confiscation through imminent domain, arbitrary business regulations, and graduated taxation, which is a tool first advocated within socialist circles and fascistic economic policies which limit one’s ability to discriminate or make fundamental free choices on the desired ends resulting from property usage.

For instance, under fascism, it did not matter who owned the means of production so long as they were bent to the will of the state. To this end, government regulations were a powerful tool used under the guise of stopping the excesses of capitalism. However, its real use was to control the outcomes of market transactions and thereby use the market for political purposes.

It was Mussolini who said that “The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporative, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organized in their res­pective associations, circulate within the State” (Doctrine of Fascism, par. 45)The representation of the state’s social agenda and its monopoly on discrimination in its economic policies is the beginning of totalitarian government, in regard to economics and the means of production.

A society cannot practice pluralistic values in regard to egalitarian ideas or liberty. A distinctive choice must be made. If the end desired is liberty, then one will either choose equality of liberty, which will mean equal freedom for all to do as each individual wishes, or economic and social equality, which must place materialism and political power above ethics and morality. There can be no in-between because true liberty dictates that one must not aggress against one’s neighbor so long as that person has no direct negative impact upon another’s property or liberty. It is not a requirement of freedom that each individual must impact their neighbors positively, but instead, only that they do not impact them negatively. In this regard, one individual possessing wealth which another individual does not already possess cannot be seen as an injustice; and therefore, the confiscation and redistribution of wealth simply to enrich every person more equally is an injustice by itself because harm is done where there was ethically none to start with.

Success is neither unethical nor mutually exclusive. In this light, it is not unethical to make choices which are in one’s own favor–and this must be defined on a person-by-person basis. Liberty then should also be defined as the right to discriminate against others on any basis in regard to one’s association, services, and property. Discrimination is not only a necessary thing, but it is also desirable in a free society.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth