2012-02-14

Puzzled by Boudreaux

Donald Boudreaux begins an otherwise fascinating blog post about legal property rights in socialist regimes with a rather baffling remark.
Is Obama a socialist? Or, rather more appropriately, is nearly every modern politician (and many a pundit) a socialist?  The answer is no, if by “socialist” is meant someone who advocates government ownership of the means of production.
No? Really?

I have often wondered at the many talking heads out there insisting that Obama and others are "not socialists." I cannot for the life of me understand how that position is tenable.

Of course they are socialists. If we must force ourselves to use the most technical definitions, then anyone who advocates government transfer payments is an advocate of public ownership of investment capital, i.e. a means of production. Money and investment capital is the means of producing returns on investments, which is certainly a form of production.

Why are we so afraid to call things as they are?