Allen B. West

Nationalization of production: America’s slow march to socialism is picking up pace

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I know there are many times y’all just want hearty red meat and sadly this current government allows me to provide you with a steady helping. However, there are times when I need to clarify a few things in order for you to be better informed citizens — not mindless lemmings and subjects.

The first tenet of a socialist agenda is to nationalize production. What that means is the central government begins to usurp more of the private sector functions of a nation and put it under its control.

Let me start with a pretty scary exercise. Examine the ten planks offered by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the Communist Manifesto and ask yourself — how applicable is this to America today?

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1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.

What is happening in our America, an exceptional Constitutional Republic just 238 years old, is a rapid advancement of government-centered economic activity.

Let’s look at the healthcare system — which I admit needed reform — however, one-sixth of our economy is being shifted to government control. Do we truly believe the federal government can provide better insurance coverage and access than the private sector?

Just ask yourself what would happen in the private sector if a website went down for three weeks? Or what would happen if some 800,000 customers received inaccurate tax data?

There is no real accountability in the public sector for failure, and that’s exactly what we see occurring with the Affordable Care Act — actually a tax measure that created 20 new taxes. Sure, there were some key items that needed to be corrected, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions. And if parents wanted to maintain their “children” on their insurance coverage, so be it.

But nearly 160 new agencies and bureaucracies is not the way we fix healthcare in America. Instead we have created an unwieldy behemoth funded by the American taxpayer.

Can there be fair competition between the public and private sector? Hardly, because government doesn’t operate based on profit and loss. When in trouble, it just makes itself more money, by raising taxes.

Never forget, if the government decides it can compete in the market, its funding is borne on the backs of you — regardless of the slick progressive socialist lexicon of “investments” — sadly government investment “spending” has a very low rate of return.

And no, healthcare is not a right. It is a privilege provided through equality of opportunity in this great nation. For those less fortunate, there are safety nets, but they are not meant to be a permanent solution. And for those who believe in Medicaid for all, that is an expansion far beyond its original intentions.

And speaking of government telling you what you have a right to…remember the Community Reinvestment Act of President Jimmy Carter?

That venture, circa 1978 and subsequent government intrusions into the mortgage industry, led to the financial collapse of 2008. Yes, someone decided that mortgage-backed securities were a good investment. Someone decided that separation of commercial and investment banking was not a good decision — therefore government repealed the Glass-Steagall Act.

Today, we now have GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) that control nearly 90 percent of the mortgages in our America. What happened to small community banks making those home loans? Now, I fully support the VA home loan program. Why? Because veterans earned that privilege. Yet here again, we see the government nationalizing our free market production and on the backs of the American taxpayer who ended up having to “bail out” those who the government allowed to create the subprime mortgage crisis.

And if you’re not paying attention, percentage rates for down payments are being lowered, in some places from 20 percent to 3 percent. Why, and who will be on the hook all over again — yep, the American taxpayer. This is what happens when we don’t pay attention and allow government to assume expansive control of our production.

There is nothing too big too fail — and that includes government. Dodd-Frank has done nothing but enable further intrusion into the banking industry and resulted in small community banks, the lifeblood for small businesses, to become slowly almost obsolete.

On a related note, another part of the Affordable Care Act was the government usurpation of college student loans. Now American college students no longer have any competitive options for loans — just the government. The government raised college loan interest rates to help fund the expansion into healthcare — remember all those new agencies and bureaucracies?

Healthcare, banking, mortgages, small business loans, college student loans, and more welfare nanny-state dependency — this is what progressive socialist policies bring. It’s not about individual economic freedom but rather collective shared prosperity — meaning shared misery.

It is an ideology that has failed place it has been tried — and it’s certainly not part of the grand experiment promoting the indomitable entrepreneurial spirit that gave us this impressive country in just 238 short years.

And for those who feel America isn’t impressive or exceptional, and requires fundamental transformation, just be honest and tell us if this is what you really want to transform our Republic into. No more slick slogans, just be honest – of course we know that’ll be a challenge because progressive socialism can only advance through lies, deception, coercion and intimidation.

And I close by saying this: the person who can clearly distinguish and explain the difference between American greatness and fundamental transformation will win in 2016. The former advances liberty. The latter uses tyranny to advance collective subjugation.

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