Archive for November 7th, 2022

Is Biden a Socialist?

As explained in my three-part series (here, here, and here), socialism is a poisonous ideology. With poisonous results.

It is morally corrupt, elevating government over the individual and the family.

And it is economically nonsensical since it punishes success and subsidizes sloth.

But not every leftist is a socialist (and you can argue that not every socialist is a leftist).

So how should we classify Joe Biden?

As reported by Alex Gangitano for the Hill, the president asserted that only “idiots” thought he was a socialist.

President Biden on Saturday said people holding signs calling him a socialist were idiots…he said in remarks at Jones Elementary in Joliet, Ill…“I love those signs when I came in — socialism. Give me a break, what idiots,” the president added. …The Illinois stop is another on a list of typically blue strongholds the president is visiting in the days before Election Day on Tuesday. He also traveled to New Mexico and California this week and will make stops in New York on Sunday and Maryland on Monday.

If you read the entire article, at no point does Biden explain why the signs were wrong. Or idiotic. Instead, he did his usual political routine, attacking Republicans for wanting to make changes to Social Security and Medicare (I wish!).

Since Biden dodged the issue, let’s look at whether the critics are right.

Is the president a socialist?

The answer depends on who is answering. For economists, socialism has a very specific definition. It does not simply mean big government.

Socialists are people who want government ownershipcentral planning, and price controls. Sort of like Cuba, North Korea, or the former Soviet Union.

At the risk of sounding like a softie, I don’t think Biden qualifies if we use this strict definition. Just like I didn’t think Obama was a genuine socialist when I addressed accusations against him back in 2010.

Though maybe it’s fair to say Biden leans in that direction.

I’ll close by acknowledging that many people – including self-described democratic socialists – don’t use the technical definition of socialist.

Indeed, most people probably think socialism is just a way of describing a system with high tax rates and lots of redistribution. Sort of like Sweden or Denmark.

I think they’re wrong, but Biden definitely would qualify as a socialist based on that casual definition.

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