It Takes a Socialist Village

Thursday's Editorial   —   Posted on June 7, 2007

(by Cal Thomas, HumanEvents.com) – Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has unveiled her economic vision. Should she be given the power to implement it, we can say goodbye to the prosperity and opportunity we have enjoyed since the Reagan years.

In a speech at Manchester School of Technology in New Hampshire, Clinton said it’s time to replace President Bush’s “ownership society,” which she called an “on your own” society, with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.

Clinton said she prefers a “we’re all in it together” society: “I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none.”

Doesn’t such a society already exist elsewhere? It’s called socialism, where government has sought to make all things economically equal and the only equality is that all are equally poor. Wasn’t defeating such a society precisely why we fought and won the Cold War?  Why does Senator Clinton wish to embrace the principles of the losing side?

Clinton has merely updated the old and discredited (except among socialist dictators) Karl Marx saying: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Clinton’s remarks came before students at a school whose purpose is to train high school kids for careers in the construction, automotive, graphic arts and other industries. She told them, “We have sent a message to our young people that if you don’t go to college . . . that you’re thought less of in America. We have to stop this.”

Her assertion is bunk, but it is the typical class warfare bunk that comes from rich white liberals who want to take money from one group of people and give to others who didn’t earn it in hopes they will become loyal Democratic voters.

This is not the philosophy that made America what it is. This is not a land of equal outcome, but of equal opportunity commensurate with one’s talents, interests and drive.

In his “The Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith wrote: “It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. . . . (Kings and ministers) are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.”

I am not robbed by people who have more money than me. I am robbed by a government that wants to penalize my industry and give increasing portions of what I earn to people who do not emulate my principles, morals and ethics.

What have we come to? We once taught our young people the virtues of hard work, saving, personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions, chastity before and fidelity and commitment in marriage, honesty, integrity and virtue – not to mention the Ten Commandments (especially the one about not coveting that which belongs to your neighbor). We now teach them entitlement, victimhood, class envy and rights to other people’s money. When one robs a bank, it’s a crime. When government takes our money, it’s called a tax. Same result.

There is something else about Clinton’s speech that offends. She suggested that students at a technical high school are inferior to those of higher social rank. This, too, is typical white liberal bunk. Has it occurred to her that many students prefer technical careers – and some make an excellent living at them – to the jobs held by the elites and that some of those jobs (like politician) fit them for nothing of value and turn them into professional snobs?

Senator Clinton should consider the wisdom of a former president, who said, “The collection of any taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. . . . The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful.” (Calvin Coolidge inaugural address, March 4, 1925)

Mr. Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He is a commentator/analyst for the Fox News Channel and appears weekly as a panelist on “Fox News Watch,” and an author of 10 books, including “Blinded by Might: Why the Religious Right Can’t Save America” (HarperCollins/Zondervan). His latest is, “The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas.” Contact him at CalThomas@tribune.com.

Copyright ©2007 HUMAN EVENTS, May 30, 2007. All Rights Reserved.  Reprinted here June 7, 2007 with permission from Human Events.  Visit the website at humanevents.com.

Questions

1.  In his commentary, Cal Thomas says: “Should [Hillary Clinton] be given the power to implement [her economic vision], we can say goodbye to the prosperity and opportunity we have enjoyed since the Reagan years.”  Why does he believe this is so?

2.  What does Mr. Thomas say is Mrs. Clinton’s motive for her statement which he quotes in paragraph 6?

3.  What philosophy does Mr. Thomas believe has made America what it is (see paragraph 9)?  Do you agree?  Explain your answer.

4.  Re-read paragraph #11. 
a) List the virtues once taught to young people in America.
b) List the ideas taught today.
c) Why is this a problem?

5.  a) Do you agree with Cal Thomas’ opposition to Senator Clinton’s economic vision for America (para. 2-3)?  Explain your answer.
b) Do you agree with Cal Thomas’ assertion that Sen. Clinton’s economic vision for America is a form of socialism?  Explain your answer.