I believe that the new “Democratic Socialist” members of the U.S. Congress have their hearts in the right place but not their heads. Like them, I too believe that our federal government should do more and spend more to help make the lives of our citizens better just like our traditional allies do.
However, there has never been a truly “socialist” economy in the history of the world that was ever able to produce enough wealth to meet the basic needs of its citizens. It has never worked. So, it is foolish to call yourself a socialist. You are just giving conservatives a new insult to call you.
A lot has been said about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-New York) proposal to tax the income of those earning over $10 million a year by 70 percent. The problem with this is that we need to start taxing WEALTH because that’s where we can get enough revenue to pass a Canadian-style national health insurance program to cover and greatly help 99 percent of Americans (except for the richest 1 percent). Her income tax won’t raise anywhere close to what a “National Wealth Tax” of 10 percent on all those individuals with a net wealth and net worth of $10 million and higher would raise.
It is possible that we might have a much more equal and a truly “socialist” society one day, but that day is at least 1,000 to 2,000 years away. We will all have to evolve and transform spiritually, emotionally and mentally into much more loving, caring, empathetic, compassionate and altruistic human beings before we are ready for that. Right now, we are simply too individualistic, too selfish, too self-centered, too self-absorbed, too “full of ourselves” and too much into believing that we are “all that” for it to work.
Because, as the philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin observed, humankind is presently at the spiritual, emotional and mental level of a 12-year-old child. Sometimes I think that it is more like a 7-year-old child.
I include myself in that because every day I fall short of being the kind of human being that I know that I can and should be. And I make mistakes every day of my life.
So, I am not judging anyone else here.
Stewart B. Epstein is a UM alum who writes from Rochester, New York.