Democratic Socialists of America vs. Milton Friedman

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on "Raise the Wage Act" legislation.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on "Raise the Wage Act" legislation. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo)

Milton Friedman, American economist, New York Times' No. 1 best-selling author of Free to Choose and winner of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, would be having a field day with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and the 116th Congress.

New York Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is the 29-year-old freshman sensation receiving wall-to-wall doting attention from MSM luminaries and modernists, Facebook and Twitter wannabees and secular age soothsayers. She earned a degree from Boston University before tending bar in Manhattan, while mixing up cocktails was the last job she held in the fall of 2018 before upsetting former New York Congressman Joe Crowley.

Distinctive in appearance, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America. This, if we are to believe the media, puts her on a par with the British-born American industrialist Samuel Slater (1768-1836). Bringing British textile technology to America, Slater opened in 1790 the first industrial (cotton spinning) mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Often viewed as an early landmark moment in the American Industrial Revolution, it earned him the informal title "Father of the American Industrial Revolution."

Media elites and secularists appear to have accredited newly elected Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez with the skill set to lecture Americans on the main sectors of the economy, including agriculture, building, services, manufacturing, finance, foreign trade, resources and government.

In 1979, Dr. Milton Friedman was featured on the Phil Donahue Show. Friedman argued that personal freedom "has been eroded by government regulations and agencies while personal prosperity has been undermined by government spending and economic controls." As one would expect from a Nobel Prize-winning economist, Friedman held court that day, showcasing a depth of knowledge and understanding required to answer, explain and assess the history and driving force of free enterprise. Socialists like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders would do well to take notice.

"Free Enterprise" is a type of economy where products, prices and services are determined by the market, not the government. It's capitalism, not communism. Things that are free are unconstrained, and a business is an enterprise. So, free enterprise refers to an economy where businesses are free from government control. In a free enterprise, prices go up and down because of supply and demand. If there's high demand, prices go up. If there's low demand, prices go down. Free enterprise is when private companies compete for profit without government interference (

Here are some of Dr. Milton Friedman's pearls of wisdom:

"The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under orders from a bureaucrat; Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way.

"In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty that you're talking about, the only cases in recorded history, where they have had capitalism and largely free trade, if you want to know where the masses are worst off, it's in exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that.

"So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

"What does reward virtue? You think communist commissaries reward virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think, excuse me, if you'll pardon me, you think American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed, or on the basis of political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?"

And to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, he might have said: "You know, I think you're taking a lot of things for granted. And just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us? I don't even trust you to do that."

Socialists have every right to advance their notions, both in America and in the innards of the Democratic National Committee. Their stated goal is to push for political action by increasing government-run health care, higher taxes, ubiquitous government interference and regulation, open borders and a cradle-to-grave welfare state. History leaves no doubt that godless socialism would spell disaster for America, with Venezuela as the perfect example, where socialist Hugo Chavez was president from 1999 to 2013.

Until evangelical and pro-life Catholic Christians return to the public square as the ekklesia, America will stay in this rough patch established by secularists. This is because "culture is the public manifestation of religion. Today, Western culture is facing an epochal turning point. Having largely abandoned the triune God and His Word in private and public life, the edifice of our civilization is crumbling. The humanistic and utopian architects of our "progressive" order erroneously assumed that our social order could remain stable and flourish without its foundation. The coming decades will accelerate our rapid decadent demise into pagan religion, economic decline and social decay, unless a renewal of Christian vitality is seen in the church by a recovery of biblical faith and truth for every area of life."

There is good news: Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.

David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.

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