As a newly elected Congressional Representative, self-described democratic socialist, open borders advocate, Medicare for all proponent, free college education supporter, BDS enthusiast, and CAGW partisan you have your work cut out for you in your new job.
I think it’s possible you’re operating under a few misconceptions that will make that job more difficult. For example:
And so I do think that right now we have this no-holds-barred, Wild West hyper-capitalism. What that means is profit at any cost. Capitalism has not always existed in the world, and it will not always exist in the world. When this country started, we were not a capitalist [nation], we did not operate on a capitalist economy.
Not exactly. There hasn’t been anything resembling hyper-capitalism in world history, and certainly not in the United States since about the time of Woodrow Wilson. We are far from achieving a free market system. “Profit at any cost” is, in any case, not a charge reasonably leveled at capitalists. But, you know this, since you have a degree in economics. Right?
You do seem confused about what socialism is:
When we talk about the word ‘socialism,’ I think what it really means is just democratic participation in our economic dignity and our economic, social, and racial dignity. It is about direct representation and people actually having power and stake over their economic and social wellness, at the end of the day.
To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a basic level of dignity. It’s asserting the value of saying that the America we want and the America that we are proud of is one in which all children can access a dignified education. It’s one in which no person is too poor to have the medicines they need to live.
Noble sentiments, with which few would disagree, but perhaps you should pay more attention to the current example being set in Venezuela, where they’re trying out actual socialism. They’ve run out of medicine and most citizens are on the verge of starvation. I’m not sure how your concept of dignity squares with the desperation of eating zoo animals, or prostitution for food, or surgery without anesthesia, but it’s at odds with mine.
Venezuela, where you might profitably look for evidence regarding how your intentions translate into reality, is bucking this trend:
“In 1981, the year Ronald Reagan became America’s 40th President, 44.3 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty (i.e., less than $1.90 per person per day). Last year, it was 9.6 percent. That’s a decline of 78 percent.”
…which is causally associated with the capitalist idea of free markets.
Of course, that’s what we would term “current events.” So, a little history, in case you think that the Chavez/Maduro experiment has simply had a run of temporary “bad luck*”: In 2017 (60 years after the revolution) Cubans’ average monthly salary reached a post-revolutionary all time high of 767 pesos, or $28.94 a month. That’s half of the extreme poverty line. Dignity for Cubans might be more easily achieved if fewer of them were very poor, and fewer had been driven to emigrate. This is hard to achieve, but your ideas make it harder.
*“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”
― Robert Heinlein
As you say on your website merchandise page “There is nothing radical about moral clarity.” Perhaps you should check your clarity. Your good intentions don’t make that clarity moral.