Socialism has killed millions, but it’s now the ideology du jour on American college campuses and among many leftists. Reintroduced by leaders such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the ideology manifests itself in starry-eyed calls for free-spending policies like Medicare-for-all and student loan forgiveness.
In The Case Against Socialism, Rand Paul outlines the history of socialism, from Stalin’s gulags to the current famine in Venezuela. He tackles common misconceptions about the “utopia” of socialist Europe. As it turns out, Scandinavian countries love capitalism as much as Americans, and have, for decades, been cutting back on the things Bernie loves the most.
Socialism’s return is only possible because many Americans have forgotten the true dangers of the twentieth-century’s deadliest ideology. Paul reveals the devastating truth: for every college student sporting a Che Guevara T-shirt, there’s a Venezuelan child dying of starvation. Desperate refugees flee communist Cuba to escape oppressive censorship, rationed food and squalid hospitals, not “free” healthcare. Socialist dictatorships like the People’s Republic of China crush freedom of speech and run massive surveillance states while masquerading as enlightened modern nations. Far from providing economic freedom, socialist governments enslave their citizens. They offer illusory promises of safety and equality while restricting personal liberty, tightening state power, sapping human enterprise and making citizens dependent on the dole.
If socialism takes hold in America, it will imperil the fate of the world’s freest nation, unleashing a plague of oppressive government control. The Case Against Socialism is a timely response to that threat and a call to action against the forces menacing American liberty.
Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes used to describe the gloom and despondence that led to the Great Depression and the changing psychology that accompanied recovery. Like Keynes, Akerlof and Shiller know that managing these animal spirits requires the steady hand of government--simply allowing markets to work won't do it. In rebuilding the case for a more robust, behaviorally informed Keynesianism, they detail the most pervasive effects of animal spirits in contemporary economic life--such as confidence, fear, bad faith, corruption, a concern for fairness, and the stories we tell ourselves about our economic fortunes--and show how Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the rational expectations revolution failed to account for them.
Animal Spirits offers a road map for reversing the financial misfortunes besetting us today. Read it and learn how leaders can channel animal spirits--the powerful forces of human psychology that are afoot in the world economy today. In a new preface, they describe why our economic troubles may linger for some time--unless we are prepared to take further, decisive action.