Earlier this month at the Iowa State Fair, Elizabeth Warren’s wave of leftist populism turned her plan for the expropriation of private property into a boisterous rallying cry in America’s heartland. As Warren discussed all of the wondrous new things that the government could do if it just had more money and power (essentially the main message of all of the Democratic candidates distilled into a 190-proof socialist everclear), the crowd went wild, breaking into a chant of “Two cents! Two cents! Two cents!”
The first thing that is readily apparent from the battlecries of her populist supporters: it appears that they don’t understand what her plan entails. Or maybe they just think that a cheer of “Two cents” sounds better than “Two percent.”
What does 2% mean anyway? Isn’t it the 1% that Warren and Sanders want to blame for all of America’s ills?
Here is what Warren’s plan entails in a nutshell: the expropriation (theft) of assets of American citizens. Those who have a net worth of USD $50 million would have 2% of their assets stolen every fiscal year by the government. Those will fortunes above USD $1 billion would have 3% of their fortune stolen by the government each year.
This is not Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez expropriated real estate and private companies as he saw fit. This is not Bolshevik Russia or 1959 Cuba, where all private property was expropriated by the state. This is America in the year of 2019. Rather than being criticized by the mainstream media, academics, or any of the other 24 Democratic candidates, Warren is being lauded for her expropriation plan.
By the voters of Iowa, and by the other candidates, who are clamoring to outdo her. One can only imagine that Bernie’s economic advisers are busy at work on a plan that would involve the expropriation of 10% of billionaires’ assets and 5% of multi-millionaires’ assets. Time to up the ante, indeed.
Although he’s not a candidate, and perhaps not even a Democrat (he’s been everything from Republican, to independent, to Democrat, often times changing on the turn of a dime), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to his credit, has taken a public stand against the proposal: “Well number one, I think the Constitution lets you impose income taxes only. So it probably is unconstitutional. Number two, I don’t know of any country that has done that — people earn money, they pay their taxes, and then they don’t have — expect the government to come back and take some of it away.”
That is a very good start, and Bloomberg should be lauded for pointing out the unconstitutionality of such a proposal. But for a man brilliant enough to earn billions of dollars, why is he unable to come up with a very real word to describe the nature of Warren’s plan?
It is time for everyone who is not a radical socialist, Marxist, or Communist, to educate America as to what exactly expropriation is…where it has been done before, and what the results of those policies were.
Spoiler alert: surprisingly, the outcomes were less than optimal.
Why are the voters of Massachusetts supporting a candidate like Elizabeth Warren…a candidate whose ideas are rooted in radical socialism and Marxism? This is, after all, one of the wealthiest and most educated states in America. It contains many residents who will end up paying this tax.
It’s either because they don’t see it as Marxism, or they have been deluded into believing that Marxism is a good idea.
One very serious point arises right off the bat: one can only imagine the new industry that is going to be involved in valuation of hard-to-price assets. Stocks and bonds have liquid markets with easy to ascertain prices. One can only imagine the new class of attorneys, accountants, consultants, appraisers, and flim-flam artists that is going to emerge should Warren’s radical socialist plan ever become enacted into law.
Imagine a billionaire whose holdings include extensive portfolios of real estate, privately-held companies, private equity interests and private stock, art collections, wine collections, horses, cars, planes, boats…you name it.
Imagine the complexity involved in accurately valuing this portfolio of assets. Imagine the unbelievably lucrative incentives for undervaluing these assets, with tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes on the line.
Is Warren going to fund a whole new IRS Stalinist bureaucracy to tell Americans what they have to value their assets at? Or is she going to give mountains of work to this new class of white-collar professionals who will use every trick in the book to greatly deflate the value of their clients’ expensive classic cars, modern art paintings, and stable of racehorses?
Either way, Warren’s plan is truly terrifying, and every freedom-loving American capitalist should be outraged that Warren is faring as well as she is in the polls.
Warren should be languishing in single digits in a race for the Socialist Party primary, not placing first, second, or third in the primary polls of one of America’s two major political parties.