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“Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” US president Donald Trump announced in his State of the Union address in February. His base, as he had hoped, cheered him on in setting himself up as foil to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In the three months since, though, Trump has doubled down on his own socialist policy proposals. On trade and immigration, he’s 21st-century America’s most strident - or most empowered, anyway - advocate of an indispensable tenet of state socialism: Central planning of the economy by the government.
Trump - Government - Thus - Trade - Wars
Trump wants the government to control what you buy and who you buy it from. Thus, his “trade wars” with Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and China, powered by tariffs intended to advantage “Made in America” goods (and their politically connected makers) over others.
Now he’s announced a plan for “merit-based” government control of immigration under which bureaucrats in Washington decide how many, and which, immigrants the American economy “needs,” instead of leaving such decisions to markets and individuals.
Fact - Socialism - Things - People - Century
In the past I’ve bemoaned the fact that “socialism” has come to mean such different things to so many different people. From its 19th century definition of “worker ownership of the means of production,” it’s been continually re-defined to characterize everything from Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism to a more all-embracing “democratic socialist” welfare state powered by heavy taxation on “the rich.”
That’s a pretty broad net. But except among anarchist socialists, state control of the economy is the axis on which all versions of socialism turn, and Trump is clearly all-in...
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