Donald Trump’s economic advisers released a bizarre report attacking socialism yesterday. Socialists can only take one lesson from it: we’re winning.
by Miles Kampf-Lassin
If you want proof that the growing popularity of socialism poses a real threat to the Trump administration — and to the dominance of market fundamentalism over the US economy — just look at a panicky report released Tuesday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).
Titled “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,” the seventy-two-page document is a capitalist retort to rising calls for redistributive policies. Ostensibly (and bizarrely) released in recognition of “the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth,” the report acknowledges that “self-declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the electorate.”
Indeed, by the time the 2018 midterm elections come to a close, there will almost assuredly be three self-described socialists serving in the US Congress — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Bernie Sanders — along with dozens more in state and local offices throughout the United States. But it’s not just the historic growth in electoral power for socialists that has the current government worried. It’s the widespread embrace of socialism and social-democratic policies by the American public.
Medicare for All, a policy cornerstone of the resurgent American socialist movement, is supported by 70 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans. Policies such as a $15 minimum wage, a federal jobs guarantee, higher taxes for the wealthy and corporations, free public college, and urgent action to tackle climate change all similarly boast majority support. And more and more candidates are running on these ideas, as current office holders push for legislation that would make them US law.
Clearly the Right is losing the war of ideas. Apparently they hope an eye-glaze-inducing white paper will help pull the public back into their camp.