Is Barack Obama a socialist? Many on the right say yes; most on the left say no. It is a major question that has pervaded our politics for the last four years with no definitive answer either one way or the other. But I think the answer is obvious, if one will only look objectively at the clear signs.
First of all, how do you define socialism? The historical definition is a simple one: government ownership of the means of production and the central economic planning that makes such an arrangement possible. Yet in the modern era, it has undergone a necessary re-evaluation.
In 1976, Nobel Prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek, in an updated version of his influential book The Road to Serfdom, re-defined it for contemporary times: “Socialism has come to mean chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state.” Continue reading