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Social Democracy?

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In Quillette, Joel Kotkin writes,

In the United States, the Democrats have become almost indistinguishable from the big Wall Street firms and tech oligarchies, mainstream media, and other wealthy elites. Democrats once ruled mining and manufacturing towns; today, they represent 41 of the 50 wealthiest Congressional districts. The Republican Party, meanwhile, has evolved from the country club Wall Street party into one reliant on white working-class voters, and increasingly minorities, like Latinos, who appreciate that Trump delivered the first real income gains in a generation.

None of this is far-fetched, as we can see by the growing acceptance of stimulus transfer payments in both the United States and Europe. Yet, over time, as families become more dependent on government transfers, they may choose to confiscate the wealth of the uber-rich. Great inequality, Adam Smith suggested, naturally leads the poor to “invade” the “possessions of the rich.22 Some on the Left already propose using the riches of the oligarchy to fund a “fully automated luxury communism,” a kind of technologically enabled collectivist paradise. Given the history of utopian musings like these over the past century, they should be feared. But compared to growing inequality and dismal prospects for most, such a radical approach could still become surprisingly attractive.

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