Renowned economist Thomas Sowell expressed significant concern that enough Americans might be persuaded by the siren call of socialism to take the country down that route.
The author of “Basic Economics” told Fox Business Network on Tuesday, “I do have a great fear that, in the long run, we may not make it.
“I hate to say that,” Sowell continued. “The one thing that keeps me from being despairing is that we don’t know. There are so many things that we can’t possibly know. And so, we may make it, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”
The Hoover Institution senior fellow argued people seem to ignore what is happening in the world.
“So many people today, including in the leading universities, don’t pay much attention to evidence,” Sowell said.
“When you see people starving in Venezuela and fleeing into neighboring countries and realize that this is a country that once had the world’s largest oil reserves, you realize that they’ve ruined a very good prospect with ideas that sounded good but didn’t turn out well.”
Sowell related he used to be a Marxist in his youth.
“Before I was a Marxist, I was an empiricist and I stayed an empiricist. And with the passing years simply as I looked into more and more things I saw the difference between reality and the rhetoric,” he said.
“Socialism is a wonderful sounding idea,” Sowell stated. “It’s only as a reality that it’s disastrous.”
In a 1999 interview with Salon.com, the economist explained how a stint working as an intern for the federal government in the early ’60s began to change his mind about government planned economies.
Sowell came to see while studying wage policy in Puerto Rico that the free enterprise system was better at helping people improve their lives than the government.
During his FBN interview, Sowell was asked if he thought self-described Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s popularity would continue to rise.
“It depends,” he responded. “If they go by rhetoric, she’s a rising star.”
Most of the prominent Democratic candidates for president — including Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — have signed on to Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.
The plan envisions massive government intervention in the economy in order to transition the United States to 100 percent renewable energy, including the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Additionally, the Green New Deal contains new government entitlement programs, including free universal health care and college education, government-guaranteed employment and income, and paid family and medical leave.
A Fox News poll released last month showed 57 percent of respondents had a positive opinion of capitalism, while only 25 percent viewed socialism in a positive light.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found only 25 percent of respondents thought being a socialist a desirable trait for a candidate.
President Donald Trump clearly understands that most of the nation’s citizens do not support socialism.
During his State of the Union address in early February, the president differentiated himself from his would-be Democratic challengers’ vision of government, saying, “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free and we will stay free.
“Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Trump added in a speech to Venezuelan Americans last month, “We know that socialism is not about justice, it’s not about equality, it’s not about lifting up the poor. Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class.”
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