Wealthiest U.S. Senator: I Don’t Believe Modern American Capitalism Is Working

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is reportedly worth over $243 million. And he has the gall to lecture us if it’s working?

 

While stumping in Virginia’s Fifth District for Democrat candidate Leslie Cockburn — who tried to accuse her Republican challenger, Denver Riggleman, of endorsing Big Foot Erotica — Virginia’s senior U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) had a rather interesting statement for campaigners. Warner — who is reportedly worth $200 million — said in 2018 free enterprise isn’t working.

 

Ironic coming from the wealthiest U.S. Senator in America, no? As of 2014, he was worth $243 million.

 

In a video gathered by RNC Research, Warner says the following about the economy.

 

“I think we ought to realize that the economy that we grew up in isn’t going to take place in 2017, 2018, 2019,” Warned said.

 

“I was blessed to do really well in business,” he added. “I believe in the free enterprise but I don’t believe modern American capitalism is working for enough people.”

 

The full conversation can be watched here:

Warner previously served as Governor of Virginia from 2002-2006 and billed myself as a moderate Democrat—even hiring a bluegrass band to sing his praises:

Senator Warner is no moderate. He votes mostly with Senator Chuck Schumer at a 84% rate. If he was “moderate” as governor, he must have rid his extremist views very well.

If he continues to make hypocritical statements like this, I hope a Republican can challenge him again when he’s up for re-election in 2020. In 2014, Warner was almost defeated by longtime GOP consultant Ed Gillespie—winning only by 0.8% points.

 

Free enterprise is the most uplifting system ever devised. The only reason why it doesn’t work is when Democrats and Republicans pollute and ruin it with cronyism and subsidies.

 

Paging Nick Freitas and Republican Party of Virginia— please bookmark this.

My Family Fled Socialism. Let’s Not Give It a Try Here in the U.S.

Here’s my response to a Washington Post column calling for socialism in the U.S.

Socialism wasn’t implemented correctly in the 20th century, we’re told. Millions dying? “That wasn’t supposed to happen under Marxist-Leninism!”, leftists decry. We told, “If we’re given a second chance, we’ll do it correctly!”

Hogwash.

Global communism and its socialist variants have cumulatively killed over 100 million since 1917— following the ascension of the Bolshevik Revolution headed up by revolutionary terrorist Vladimir I. Lenin. This violent, bloody revolution propelled the rise of Hitler and National Socialism in Germany, Joseph Stalin in Soviet Russia, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Castro in Cuba, Mao Zhedong in China, and countless other dictators—including those oppressing Venezuela and North Korea today. Millions were brutalized, tortured, or killed in the name of socialism. Socialism and communism deserve to end up in the ashtray of history alongside National Socialism—its equally ugly cousin.

When I came across this column from one Elizabeth Bruenig up at the Washington Post, I couldn’t help but shrug. The WaPo opinion columnist seems to romanticize socialism like the rest of our generation—of which a staggering 50% of Millennials now favor. The romanticism of socialism, especially its economic policies, has long been regarded by many on the Left due to the influence of higher education. The equality socialism preaches sounds fine and dandy on paper—until it’s implemented or until people get jobs. Upon further examination and examining past historical mistakes, the equality rendered by socialism results in the equitable sharing of misery. Sadly, free enterprise gets scapegoated for the failures of socialism.

Ms. Bruenig writes this about capitalism, discounting the value of individuals in favor of collectivism:

“Capitalism is an ideology that is far more encompassing than it admits, and one that turns every relationship into a calculable exchange. Bodies, time, energy, creativity, love — all become commodities to be priced and sold. Alienation reigns. There is no room for sustained contemplation and little interest in public morality; everything collapses down to the level of the atomized individual.”

She goes on to call for a “new” socialism, one devoid of its totalitarian bent and one that breaks free enterprise’s “strangehold over politics and culture”:

Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture.

How is socialism democratic? How does reduce inequality? Given socialism’s track record across the globe, it’s resulted in more inequality and strained human conditions despite their so-called “humanitarian” intentions. Everything socialists or communists touch dies—from the human spirit to the human flesh.

The attacks on capitalism, or free enterprise (a phrase that better reflects this remarkable economic system), are unjustified. Usually these attacks come of a place of inexperience, poor attention to detail, or blatant naïveté. How many of these individuals who romanticize socialism have lived in those societies ? (Answer: very few to none.) Those calling for the destruction of free enterprise admonish wealth acquired by individuals, yet fail to surrender their iPhones, Starbucks gift cards, and similar luxuries afforded to them under American free enterprise.

If those calling for socialism or communism had it their way, barring exceptions of bureaucrats who’d implement such a system in this country, we’d all be equally poor and miserable at the behest of big government. That’s a scary thought.

Imperfect capitalism, or free enterprise, is far more preferable than perfect socialism. Human progress is made possible thanks to free enterpriseWhen socialism is perfected, chaos, bloodshed, and death follow.

In societies where free market policies reign supreme or exist, greater human freedom flourishes. Why else do people flee here? To experience more socialism or communism? No, they come here to pursue the American dream, to give their children a better future, and to enjoy freedoms denied to them in their homelands.

My family saw firsthand how ugly totalitarian socialism is when implemented. My maternal grandfather endured torture and survived 18 months in one of Stalin’s gulags on the Belomor Canal on the Russian-Finnish border for being a Catholic land owner. My maternal grandmother was similarly imprisoned in a German labor camp. My father’s side of the family faced institutionalized anti-Semitism.

Free enterprise, flaws and all, best uplifts people from nothing to something. My parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles came here in the 1980s virtually penniless. There was no future for them in the Soviet Union. Had my family not come here 30+ years ago, they wouldn’t have worked in corporate America or started their own businesses. Like countless other children of socialism’s survivors, I’m so grateful they came here.

The next time someone calls for socialism in America, remind them of its failures across the globe. Remind them that however contorted and misguided their thinking is with respect to free enterprise, the freedoms afforded to them by the U.S. allow them to hold such views. Remind them that human progress and equality of opportunities best thrive in a society rooted in free enterprise, not socialism.

Apparently Capitalism is to Blame for Feminist Business Flops

Feminist-run businesses are largely failing. Why? Because capitalism, friends!

The article’s author, GetBullish founder Jennifer Dziura, describes her company as “an organization that provides career and ladybiz resources from a feminist perspective and offers a feminist web shop.” She focuses and examines the failures of three feminist-run businesses in the last year or so–a scandal at Thinx, the bankruptcy of Nasty Gal (famous for the #GirlBoss mantra), and the sale of Modcloth to Wal-Mart. Although the author favors Scandinavian-style socialism, she doesn’t lay the blame entirely on one company’s fall from grace – Thinx-  on capitalism. She writes:

The charges against Miki Agrawal, former CEO of period underwear company Thinx, are numerous and varied, from not giving enough fully paid maternity leave (more than common at startups, and a problem I think we ought to handle at the national level, like every other developed nation) – to allegedly groping an employee’s breasts, getting naked in the office, and conducting FaceTime meetings from the toilet. These things are not good or normal in any type of workplace.

One writer blamed the whole thing on capitalism, claiming these problems could have been avoided had Agrawal instead started a “workers’ collective.” Le sigh. Really? It seems so tedious for me to even type out the entirely obvious reasons that an entrepreneur wouldn’t invest her entire savings, call in every favor, risk her financial future, work long hours for no pay, etc., to build a workers’ collective. I mean, you can if you want. It would be a lovely thing to do. But no cool and interesting products that I know of are currently produced – much less invented by – workers’ collectives. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Thinx period panties are great. They work very well for a lot of people. They’re a game changer, a lifestyle enhancer, and even a money saver for some.

It must have been very hard for this feminist to admit that free enterprise isn’t always to blame for a company’s failure. (At least we’ll give credit where credit is due.)

However, it’s important to note why feminist-minded businesses are failing. First, they are niche-markets without much global appeal. (Harvard Business Review noted in 2014 that exploiting feminism in marketing can be a major turn-off.) Second, companies with overt political agendas alienate consumers most. And third, market forces will root out poorly-run companies who boast a bad business model. Bad news for these companies: feminism–particularly third-wave feminism– is still largely unpopular.

I have no qualms with women-run businesses. (I’m a self-employed female in the process of launching my own business very soon.) However, basing your company on an impractical business model–a la a feminist one–is largely doomed to fail. (This also happens in companies dominated by men.) Businesses aren’t immune to disaster nor should they be, which is why government should never get fully entangled in them.

Perhaps from their failures, these women will learn that “sticking it to the man” doesn’t come without consequences. Stop making business political–plain and simple.

 

Ex-Soviet Citizen Garry Kasparov Schools Bernie Sanders on Socialism

Americans who are most receptive to socialism are those who have yet to experience it firsthand. Such is the case with socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and many Democrats today.

The Democrat presidential candidate isn’t shy about his support for wealth redistribution or  a 90 percent income tax rate to make society more “equitable.” In fact, his affinity for collectivist policies only grew after honeymooning in the so-called workers paradise, the now-defunct Soviet Union.

Why does a washed-out Bolshevik septuagenarian have widespread appeal among young leftists? Like his comrades in academia and the media, Sanders has cast a magical socialist spell on Millennials with “cool” promises of free college tuition, cradle-to-grave dependency, student loan forgiveness, and unicorns-for-all.

Heaven forbid someone who lived behind the Iron Curtain and later fled it educate Comrade Sanders and his supporters about the grim realities of big government policies!

Thankfully, one outspoken survivor of Soviet communism – Garry Kasparov- is bold enough to challenge Sanders’ rallying cry for socialism in America. The former world chess champion and freedom activist took it to his Facebook page to address the problem with socialism–which then prompted a massive firestorm on social media shortly after:

In a follow up to his viral Facebook post, Mr. Kasparov elaborated on the harsh realities of socialism he endured and saw firsthand in the Soviet Union in The Daily Beast yesterday:

A society that relies too heavily on redistributing wealth eventually runs out of wealth to redistribute. The historical record is clear. It’s capitalism that brought billions of people out of poverty in the 20th century. It’s socialism that enslaved them and impoverished them. Of course Senator Sanders does not want to turn America into a totalitarian state like the one I grew up in. But it’s a valuable example of the inevitable failure of a state-run economy and distribution system.

Kasparov is absolutely correct in his analysis of socialism’s deleterious effects. As the late Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Much to the dismay of Sanders and his supporters, socialism touts “equality”– the equitable sharing of misery, not equal opportunities. (I would know–my family escaped Soviet-occupied Lithuania 30 years ago.) Except for the elites comprising the Soviet politburo, the majority of people who endured collectivism in the former USSR were subjected to low incomes or worse–poverty, gulag imprisonment, or death. Private property was seized by the state. Competition was crushed. Food shortages defined the landscape. (It’s a fact: life behind the Iron Curtain wasn’t rosy or fun.) That’s why free enterprise, Kasparov argues, is the perfect antidote to the abject poverty produced in collectivist societies–and he’s right. Free enterprise is the greatest anti-poverty program ever created–benefitting millions like my parents who came to the United States in search of greater freedom and greater opportunities.

Kasparov then explained the Soviet Union ultimately failed because it couldn’t effectively compete with American free enterprise:

Yes, the free market can be cruel and it is by definition unequal. It has winners and losers. It also sparks the spirit of creativity that humanity desperately needs to flourish in our ever-increasing billions. Failure is an essential part of innovation and the free market. Of every 10 new companies, perhaps nine will fail in brutal Darwinian competition. A centrally-planned economy cannot imitate this engine of creative destruction because you cannot plan for failure. You cannot predestine which two college dropouts in a garage will produce the next Apple.

Mr. Kasparov prefers free enterprise to a centrally-planned economy because the latter utterly failed and led to ruin in his former homeland. Sure, the Soviet Union may have had some great gymnasts, cosmonauts, and vodka distillers–but they pale in comparison to America’s countless innovators. The Soviet Union never could have produced the iPhone, Uber, or Starbucks; only America has bred an environment that invites creativity, ingenuity, and individual success to flourish.

Sanders supporters cling to their safe spaces, echo chambers, and trigger warnings to avoid the realization that socialism, when implemented and tried, fails. It’s troubling they dismiss Garry Kasparov’s telling account of life behind the Iron Curtain.

Over 100 million people died at the hands of totalitarian and collectivist regimes in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America in the 20th century. The false notion of “equality” found in these societies ultimately divided people, permitted crimes against humanity, and resulted in misery–all in the name of socialism.

No, socialism doesn’t need to be retried or “perfected” once again in a place–let alone here in the United States. It should be rejected and permanently thrown into the dustbin of history.