Doomsday postponed again
Conversation on Democratic Socialism
by J. Neil Schulman
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
An excerpt from my novel in progress, The Metronome Misnomer.
“Five seconds,” said the stage director.
Jennifer sat catercorner to her opponent, just elected to Congress, with the debate moderator between them.
“Three, two –”
Hand signal for one. Camera light on.
“Good evening,” said FNN news anchor, Shawn Oldman. “Our guests tonight are Senegal Diaz-Jaffe, newly elected Congresswoman from New York’s 14th Congressional District, and renowned arbitrator and TV judge Jennifer Solomon. Our topic for tonight’s point-counterpoint is the proper role of government in seeking social justice. Congresswoman, let ’s start with you. You describe yourself as a democratic socialist. What, precisely, do you advocate?”
“Only that which almost every American has agreed upon for close to a century now. That everyone be treated with dignity and the least among us be afforded the equal access to adequate health care, education, and housing that the elite seize for themselves. We need to recognize that capitalism is a rapacious system that we’ve evolved beyond.”
“Where does the money to pay for these benefits come from, Ms. Diaz-Jaffe?”
“And where does the government get the money?”
“It must tax those whose fortunes were made by exploiting the working poor.”
“Let’s leave out that your math doesn’t work – that even taking one-hundred percent of the wealth from the top ten percent can’t provide the services you’re demanding for the other ninety percent. So let’s ask the primary question. Exploiting how? How can there be exploitation when a worker is free to quit?”
“To quit and starve? Not be able to pay for rent and food? That ’s not a real choice.”
“It’s not a real choice to take a job elsewhere, or start their own business to compete with their former employer?”
“That’s a fantasy. Most start-ups end in bankruptcy.”
“What about those whose fortunes were made by their own hard work and superior products enriching everyone?”
“No one is an island,” Diaz-Jaffe said. “Everyone is dependent on everyone else. The rich get a free ride from publicly funded schools and colleges training their workers, direct taxpayer subsidies, legal shields against the harm their products cause to others.”
“That’s called limited liability and I’ll immediately concede these laws distort the market, allowing a corporation to grow larger than the marketplace would otherwise allow. Nonetheless even a company with such legal shielding must compete to win their share of customers, who freely choose their product or service over the existing alternatives.”
“Unless the government stifles the competition,”said the Congresswoman.
“I agree again,” said Jennifer. “The solution isn’ t more government regulation – which is always used to protect one company from its competition – but to eliminate the government preferencing and allow competition to do its job. Your problem – Congresswoman Diaz-Jaffe – is that you detect arsenic in drinking water and wish to replace it with cynanide. If you had studied real economics your solution to market corruption wouldn’t be the fascism you label democratic socialism but the truly free market Agorism I advocate.”
Copyright © 2018 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.
Reprinted from J. Neil Schulman @ Agorist.com
J. Neil Schulman is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, radio
personality, filmmaker, composer, and actor. His dozen books include
the novels Alongside Night and The Rainbow Cadenza,
both of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus
Award for best libertarian novel, and the anthology Nasty, Brutish,
And Short Stories.
Read more about him.
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