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White House releases a report on the evils of Socialism and of course the Acton Institute praises it

November 1, 2018

A week ago, the White House released a report entitled, The Opportunity Costs of Socialism

The 72 page report was put together by the White House group known as the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). The CEA was founded in 1946, during the Truman administration and conducts research for the White House on economic policy.

The CEA is made up of individuals who all have a history of defending the economic system of capitalism, beginning with the Chairman, Kevin Hassett. Hassett, a former consultant for the US Treasury Department, spent numerous years as an economist for the American Enterprise Institute, an influential right wing think tank. 

On Friday, the Grand Rapids-based think tank, the Acton Institute, posted an article summarizing the White House report and essentially affirming its analysis. The Acton Institute’s support of the report is no surprise considering that the organization is an apologist for free market policies. 

The article has one accompanying photo, which shows people at a rally in the US, holding signs saying Medicare for All. In the White House report and the Acton Institute article, the idea of Medicare for All is considered scandalous, since it would prevent private corporations the right to sell people insurance. The White House report does not provide an assessment of the current health care system in the US, other than to suggest that it is less of a tax burden than single payer health care policies that other countries have adopted. The report also fails to mention that there are millions of Americans who support policies like Medicare for All.

The report is riddled with flaws, but perhaps the largest one is the role that the US has played in attempting to undermine countries which have adopted socialist policies. The White House report attempts to critique the economic policies of China, the former Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela.

The report offers no comparison on the differences in China or Russia today, which have essentially adopted state-sponsored capitalism, to the socialist policies that both countries previously held. More importantly, in the case of Cuba and Venezuela, the report omits the fact that the US government has actively tried to undermine undermine Cube since 1959, using a variety of tactics or what Noam Chomsky refers to as decades of political terror and economic warfare

In the case of Venezuela, the US during the years that Hugo Chavez was in power and up to the present, has also actively attempted to undermine the country by isolating Venezuela, punishing countries that have positive relations with them, using economic leverage and undermining the political process through organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy.  Eva Golinger’s book, The Chavez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela, provides excellent analysis on  how the US has worked to undermine Venezuela.

The White House report on socialism hasn’t received much attention in the mainstream commercial media or even in more independent media sources. This is understandable, considering everything else that has been happening in recent weeks, but the failure of news agencies to cover the findings of the report is indicative of the news media’s tendency to focus on the person of Donald Trump, rather than the policies of the current administration.

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