Bernie Sanders often speaks favorably of FDR, comparing himself with the late president and speaking in glowing terms of FDR’s “freedoms,” which Sanders apparently wants to revive. What are these “freedoms”?
In his State of the Union speech in 1944, Roosevelt laid out his vision of America, and specifically, a vision of a country that guaranteed certain freedoms that, he said, would be a fulfillment of the Founders’ dreams. These “freedoms,” which the President called the “Second Bill of Rights” are:
- “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation
- The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation
- The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living
- The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad
- The right of every family to a decent home
- The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health
- The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment
- The right to a good education”
Sanders insists he is not a Socialist, but a Democratic Socialist, a distinction which he has been, so far, unable or unwilling to define.
A “right” is properly defined as a benefit to which one is unquestionably entitled, regardless of any effort expended – or not expended – in pursuit of that benefit.
But adults realize that these “rights” do not appear magically out of thin air. Food, shelter, clothing, health care, education and retirement savings must come, not from a Fairy Godmother, but from the labor of someone. Government has no resources to spend unless it takes it from people who are working to produce it.
Socialists like Sanders, and his unthinking, politically naïve followers (and Progressives everywhere) are convinced that their magnanimity and moral purity can overcome any troublesome problems, like paying for all this stuff. “Tax the rich.”
So, all these “free” benefits are paid for by someone else. If John is legally entitled to something that must, by law, be paid for by Jane, that is, by definition, not a right, but indentured servitude. Can I use the word, slavery?
But notice those lovely, compassionate adjectives that modify these “rights”: useful, adequate, decent, good. That’s the beauty of socialism/progressivism: The inevitable failure of these programs to live up to the promises, can be blamed on sinister forces that prevented them from being more useful, adequate, decent and good. Raise taxes again; that’ll fix it.
Imagine a $200,000-a-year progressive bureaucrat writing the official government definition of a “decent home,” or a “good education.” What could possibly go wrong?
As Margaret Thatcher said, “Sooner or later you’re going to run out of other people’s money.”
The prevailing thought in Washington is that it is the legitimate use of government to solve people’s problems and to smooth life’s road, to protect careless citizens from the consequences of their bad choices. Both parties buy into this mind-set. The Democrats want immediate submission; the Republicans are willing to wait a few years.
-The Voice of Raisin