More "gumption" needed!

Matthew Yglesias makes no secret of wanting Swedish style socialism for the United States, and says so. He also chides American progressives for not being more explicit about advocating socialism, and says gumption is required. need to have the gumption to take money away from people whose consumption has a low marginal value, and give it to people whose consumption has a high marginal value. And you want to try to do it in a way that doesn't strangle growth. The Nordic countries are living out there on the frontiers of political thinking, and manage to tax almost 50% of GDP on a sustainable basis. But it's all too rare that I see American progressives explicitly calling for a Nordic-style tax code.

Actually, it's a pity that American progressives don't take his advice and come out of the closet as unabashed, admitted socialists. It would hurry their political demise.

I mean, it took gumption to ramrod through the "Affordable Care Act," and look where that has gotten them.


posted by Eric on 12.17.10 at 03:52 PM


Socialism framed as a mass striving toward a mythologized Nordic ideal? Unprecedented.

I don't know if you remember, but for a while, Yglesias dropped Sweden and took up England as his stand-in for a perfected America, but it didn't stick, presumably because that model isn't "Nordic" or culturally depressed enough to signify Progressive Heaven.

Minneapolis or Portland is, but they're in America, so of course Valhalla can't be built there.

guy on internet   ·  December 17, 2010 4:50 PM

Matt has the soul of a looter. I'd never let him in my home for any length of time; he might see something he likes and decide to redistribute it.

I mean, all I can claim is ownership. Obviously, reactionary morality about things so quaint as "earned" and "owner" cannot stand.

Darleen   ·  December 17, 2010 5:38 PM

But most people measure all political projects with one ruler, that of "do I like it?" Seldom, if ever in the last 10 years have I heard even the hard core conservatives mention X, Y, or Z is not permitted by the Constitution.

Even during the high conflict leading to the health care reform cram down the anti argument was "it will cost too much" or "government action is terribly inefficient." This suggests that if nationalizing the whole thing would save money many opponents would support the socialism.

We don't have many citizens left in this country. The citizens are outnumbered by the subjects that just want a better offer before selling their liberty. The growing welfare cadre will happily sell out for an extra $100 per month

Scott M   ·  December 17, 2010 10:39 PM

Matt missed the memo by which all American socialists are to deny that they are socialists, so they can't be pegged as being hostile to the nation's founding principles.

By the way, socialists, those principles are protection of the rights of life, liberty, and property by a government limited to that purpose. They are not unlimited majority rule.

Brett   ·  December 17, 2010 11:50 PM

Mr. Iglegias ought to keep in mind, when he casually speaks of looting from someone whom he sees as having low marginal utility, that many of us place a similar value on him, and we can only listen to him discount the worth and value of LMU-types so many times before the lesson sinks in, to his ultimate loss.

Ultimately, he's advocating for a system of mob rule, with him playing the part of leader. As soon as he advocates that the mob take from me, he's lost any moral standing to complain when I come to him and make him suffer first.

bobby b   ·  December 18, 2010 1:34 AM

" need to have the gumption to take money away from people whose consumption has a low marginal value,"

And who gets to decide who those people are? Is it an economic class,an ethnic class,a certain age group?

So, is he suggesting Logan's Run, or the French Revolution, or hating on the other?

Are you continuing the evil post with examples?

Anonymous   ·  December 18, 2010 1:56 AM

I work with a guy who's around 30 or so, he's an unabashed socialist.

During the health care debate, he explicitly stated that it was perfectly okay, even a societal good, for most of us to get much crappier health care so long as all of us get equal health care.

I probed farther, he really thinks is fine to bring our society lower in order to make us all equal.

He knows that socialism always screws up a society, but he was willing to have that in order to have "equality".

I can't even imagine thinking that way.

All we can do as humans is give equal opportunity, what people do with that is up to them.

Veeshir   ·  December 19, 2010 12:02 PM

Matt should have the "gumption" to go out and seize that undue wealth himself, instead of hiding behind government thugs.

Mike   ·  December 19, 2010 7:06 PM

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