Paul Krugman rejects the idea that Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Krugman writes:
Bernie Sanders isn’t actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn’t want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark.
This made me wonder why Sanders has been calling himself a socialist all these years. Was it a way of attracting women?
Kevin Williamson takes down Krugman’s defense of Sanders — one I haven’t heard Sanders himself raise.
Williamson’s first point is similar to my reaction:
Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist. He has for a long time. He has been affiliated with other socialists and socialist institutions over the years. At some point, we should take the man at his word. Paul Krugman says Bernie Sanders is not a socialist. Bernie Sanders says Bernie Sanders is a socialist. Maybe Bernie Sanders has a say in that.
What about Krugman’s claim that Sanders doesn’t want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning? Williamson responds:
Senator Sanders does want to nationalize some major industries, health care prominent among them. He also proposes to enact political controls over other key industries, such as media and banking, that would amount to something close to nationalization. He would subject media companies’ business decisions to political control and would have the federal government own and operate banks.
Not bad for starters.
Finally, Krugman has it wrong when it comes to Sanders and Venezuela:
Senator Sanders has expressed admiration for Venezuela. It is simply untrue to write, as Professor Krugman does, that he has not. Then-Representative Sanders went as far as to sign a letter of support for Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez in 2003. And the policies that Sanders proposes are not actually very much like Denmark’s, while his promise of “revolution” is familiar stuff from the experience of Venezuela and other similar cases.
I believe Sanders sympathizes with communism. This view may be controversial. That Sanders is a socialist shouldn’t be.