I found this article in the magazine Imprimis, which is the Hillsdale College monthly newsletter. I found it to be an interesting analysis of what is wrong with America today, and why we have seen the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. It is a conservative professor's approach to what he sees as America's primary problem today: the loss of economic mobility due to the concentration of wealth at the top. His answer: Emulate Canada.
Something I found interesting is his interpretation of how the modern American economy has developed into the current American aristocracy and how the politics of class struggle has played into modern politics. A particularly interesting idea of his is what he calls "the right-wing Marxist." I found it interesting because I recently found myself called a "right wing Marxist," which struck me as just another bit of overheated rhetoric on the part of a particularly partisan Democrat. Then I saw this article.
What is a "right-wing Marxist?" Excerpt:
Had Marx been asked what would happen to America if it ever became economically immobile, we know what his answer would be: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And also Donald Trump. The anger expressed by the voters in 2016---their support for candidates from far outside the traditional political class---has little parallel in American history. We are accustomed to protest movements on the Left, but the wholesale repudiation of the establishment on the Right is something new. All that was solid has melted into air, and what has taken its place is a kind of right-wing Marxism, scornful of Washington power brokers and sneering pundits and repelled by America's immobile, class-ridden society.
Establishment Republicans came up with the "right-wing Marxist" label when House Speaker John Boehner was deposed, and labels stick when they have the ring of truth. So it is with the right-wing Marxist. He is right-wing because he seeks to return to an America of economic mobility. He has seen how broken education and immigration systems, the decline of the rule of law, and the rise of a supercharged regulatory state serve as barriers to economic improvement. And he is a Marxist to the extent that he sees our current politics as the politics of class struggle, with an insurgent middle class that seeks to surmount the barriers to mobility erected by an aristocratic New Class. In his passion, he is also a revolutionary. He has little time for a Republican elite that smirks at his heroes---heroes who communicate through their brashness and rudeness the fact that our country is in crisis. To his more polite critics, the right-wing Marxist says: We are not so nice as you!
The right-wing Marxist notes that establishment Republicans who decry crony capitalism are often surrounded by lobbyists and funded by the Chamber of Commerce. He is unpersuaded when they argue that government subsidies are needed for their friends. He does not believe that the federal bailouts of the 2008-2012 TARP program and the Federal Reserve's zero-interest and quantitative easing policies were justified. He sees that they doubled the size of public debt over an eight year period, and that our experiment in consumer protectionism for billionaires took the oxygen out of the economy and produced a jobless Wall Street recovery.
The right-wing Marxist's vision of the good society is not so very different from that of the JFK-era liberal; it is a vision of society where all have the opportunity to rise, where people are judged by the content of their character, and where class distinctions are a thing of the past. But for the right-wing Marxist, the best way to reach the goal of a good society is through free markets, open competition, and the removal of wasteful government barriers.
Link to the article:
As to the comment in the excerpt I typed in, regarding supercharged regulatory state: Obviously, it would be hard to argue that there was a supercharged regulatory state overall. What I have seen, in my own business, in my own field, and working with many startup businesses or individual entrepreneurs, is that there is still massive regulation in the sense of penny ante regulations and requirements, literally by the dozens of volumes, plus licensing procedures and fees, which have the effect of making sure very few can achieve entrance into far too many fields out there. The issue isn't with regulation necessary to try and guarantee quality of service or public safety, but rather with the kind of overly detailed yet dubious regulation which seem to be there strictly to make sure that there are fewer players on the field, and therefore less competition for the big players.
I thought the article makes for an interesting counterpoint to some of the other ideas expresssed elsewhere in the board.