Against Bernie Sanders.

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I dislike Donald Trump. But his campaign interests me. He is a true political outsider, and the GOP Establishment hates his guts. But Trump puts butts in seats. He has grassroots support. I ultimately do not think he’ll get the Republican nomination, but then again, maybe he will. He’ll have certainly left his mark on this year’s election, either way.

Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont, is the Democrat version of Donald Trump. He is less bombastic, but equally an outsider. I do not think the Democratic Establishment necessarily hates him, but it’s clear they want him out of the way for a Hillary presidency. The Democratic Establishment blew a sigh of relief when crazy Uncle Bernie exonerated Hillary of any wrongdoing related to Benghazi or her ongoing email scandal. It was too bad; he really could have stuck it to her, in this regard. This is why the debate audience erupted in applause when he pooh-poohed Hillary’s mounting scandals as unimportant: it was his subtle cue that he is not willing directly challenge Hillary.

I appreciate Sanders’ status as an outsider. I enjoy the thought that Clinton may have nightmares about him. But his ideas are nothing new. Economically and philosophically, he is every bit as old as he looks. At 74, he ain’t no spring chicken.

Sanders is a self-declared socialist. This is not the same thing as being communist, in case you were wondering. But he does believe in mass theft (wealth redistribution), tight government regulation over business, and a massive welfare state. Without question, Uncle Bernie is the most far-left of any major presidential candidate in history.

Socialism is a relic of the past. It has been tried repeatedly in many different countries in different cultures across the globe, and it has always failed. There are only a few genuinely socialist nations left: North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela to a lesser extent. Anyone who calls these nations “successful” has a bizarre interpretation of success. China, Laos, and Vietnam are dominated by Communist Parties, but they abandoned socialism long ago. These nations are effectively capitalist.

But wait,” you might object, “What about the Nordic countries like Sweden and Finland? They have a huge government machine, massive welfare, and high taxes, but are very successful and nice places to live! Socialism can work!” Indeed, Uncle Bernie has stated that his vision for America is the Nordic model of governance – “Nordic Socialism” – that exists in countries like Sweden and Finland.

First of all, the idea that any of the Nordic countries are socialist is simply laughable. These nations are not socialist. Yes, they have high taxes, huge welfare, and a large government; but they are not socialist. In a socialist country, the government controls a majority of enterprise and industry. This is the sort of socialism Bernie Sanders is looking for, but this is not the case in the Nordic countries.

In fact, the Nordic countries are the opposite of what Sanders is looking for, in this respect. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, consistently ranks the Nordic countries above the USA in yearly rankings of economic freedom and free trade. In many ways, the governments of Finland, Sweden, and Norway have embraced free market principles even more so than supposed “conservatives” in America. They figured out the hard way throughout the 70s and 80s that a government-controlled economy is a ticket to failure.

If Uncle Bern really wants to make America more like Sweden or Finland, I’ve got news for him: that means lessening business regulations (in general) and embracing the free market. This is in stark contrast to Uncle Bernie’s belief that free trade is harmful and needs to be tightly regulated.

Secondly, Uncle Bernie pledges higher taxes as a policy point. But the Nordic nations have been trending away from high taxation for the past 10 years. Sweden in particular has been heavily slashing taxes, and the economy is booming. Moving America toward the Swedish model does not sound exactly like what Uncle Bern has in mind.

Third, the view of the Nordic nations as idyllic and utopian is faltering. The welfare systems have serious problems. Household debt levels are near all-time highs. Some of the Nordic countries, like Finland, have had their debt ratings downgraded over the past few years in the face of bad economic problems on the horizon. Unemployment is endemic in these countries; the entrenched labor unions have enforced massive minimum wage and benefit laws. The result of this has led to severe unemployment among young people and immigrants, which has led to a predictable result: riots. Sweden in particular has seen severe rioting among young immigrants who cannot find jobs.

However, Uncle Bernie does not need to push us in Sweden’s direction, in this regard. Youth unemployment in America is moderately high and downright catastrophic in poor black ghettos, where youth unemployment is over 50%. Like Sweden, one result of this has been clear: riots. It is difficult to dedicate time to rioting when you need to be at work the next morning, or you don’t want to get fired when your boss sees you on TV throwing Molotovs. With youth employment being so scarce in poor black ghettos, this isn’t a problem. Ferguson and Baltimore went on for days.The Watts riots went on for over a week.

On the note of immigration, I will be honest about my prediction for Sweden: the Swedes are finished, demographically. As far as I can tell right now, the future of Sweden belongs to either Islam or sub-Saharan African Christians; whomever can reproduce faster.  If current immigration trends continue, ethnic Swedes will be a minority in Sweden by the year 2020, meaning they will effectively start to cede control of the country to immigrants. It is difficult to determine exactly where this will lead for them. Perhaps the nation will break apart. I would imagine it would have to: eventually, the growing muslim sector of society will want to enforce something like sharia law in the areas where the muslim population is dominant. I imagine the country may break apart at that time; if not officially, then at least institutionally.

My point is that ethnic Swedes have effectively abandoned the future. The birth rate among Swedes is approximately 1.5; roughly one-half replacement rate. This is low. Meanwhile, the birth rates among immigrants are far higher; usually at least 2.0 or above. Over the next few decades, the combination of high immigration and low birth rates is going to effectively wipe out the Swedes as an electoral force.

Any nations with huge welfare (think “other people’s money”) and low birth rates are truly present-oriented. Present-oriented people do not think about the future. “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” The future leaves these people behind.

Bottom line: Pushing America toward the Nordic model is not as straightforward as Uncle Bern would like us to believe. He thinks that pushing taxation and welfare to the limit is going to let the genie out of the bottle and make our wishes come true; but there are evil genies in some bottles. The worsening situations in Sweden and Finland are showing us this. Be careful what you wish for.

Mark Steyn said it best: “Bernie thinks we should be more like Denmark, Sweden and Norway – just debt-ridden and with more race riots.

BUILDING THE FUTURE

I am a huge Ron Paul fan. In certain ways, I think Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul are similar. Both are old farts, and have been around for a while. Both sat in Congress for many years, and were dedicated to hardcore ideas – Paul to Liberty, and Sanders to Socialism. They were not loyal to party politics. In fact, Sanders is not even a registered Democrat, even though he is running for the nomination. Because of this, both Sanders and Ron Paul were largely ineffectual outsiders during their tenures in Congress.

Both of them have messages that appeal to young people. But Bernie Sanders has a legacy of failure behind him. Socialism has been a failed experiment in tyranny and wasting money from start to finish. Sanders is one of the last sputtering gasps of a failed ideology. He is not going to build the future.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, has a major advantage: governments throughout the Western world are proving him right. As the Central Banks throughout the West continue to cause economic problems with their meddling, and politicians pass wacky laws that nobody wants, and bureaucrats exert control over us in ways that we reject, and overseas wars turn into endless nightmares, they prove Ron Paul correct: big government and a controlled economy are instruments of mediocrity, and ultimately failure.

Furthermore, Ron Paul is actively engaged in building the future. He has started his own media enterprise, “Voices of Liberty“. He has founded his own home-school curriculum. He writes articles and delivers speeches weekly. He has influenced the minds of young people all over the world. Ask a libertarian how they came to believe what they believe, and 2 out of 3 will simply reply, “Ron Paul.” This is a man who is dedicated to building a future, and it shows.

Conclusion: Bernie Sanders’ presence in the political theatre will make things more interesting, but he will ultimately not be able to win. He is too far left. Too many people understand that socialism is a failed idea for failed societies.

When you think of Bernie Sanders, think “North Korea”. Think, “Cuba”. Think, “Venezuela”.

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