Conservatives have been claiming that Barack Obama is a socialist despite his centrist, pro-business economic policies. I’ve often wondered how they would react to actual socialists. Of course they would have a hard time finding many actual socialists any more among those with any degree of influence in the United States government. Robert Reich is pretty far left by American standards but even he argues that The Answer Isn’t Socialism; It’s Capitalism That Better Spreads the Benefits of the Productivity Revolution.
Francois Hollande’s victory doesn’t and shouldn’t mean a movement toward socialism in Europe or elsewhere. Socialism isn’t the answer to the basic problem haunting all rich nations.
The answer is to reform capitalism. The world’s productivity revolution is outpacing the political will of rich societies to fairly distribute its benefits. The result is widening inequality coupled with slow growth and stubbornly high unemployment….
Those on the right who see no role for government in the economy would find much to object to in Reich’s views, and perhaps, if they are honest, would see the difference between his views and Obama’s more moderate economic views. This would provide a framework for a far more meaningful debate than the current right wing arguments that Obama is a socialist.