Sen. Bernie Sanders released what he calls his Corporate Accountability and Democracy Plan, a document that could be taught in schools as a lesson in how to destroy a free country.

“As president, Bernie will share corporate wealth with workers,” the Sanders plan promises.

It would be a mistake to dismiss such rhetoric as routine pandering to that segment of Democratic Party primary voters too young to remember the Soviet Union and too ill-educated to observe what has happened to once-prosperous countries such as Venezuela.

It would be a mistake because socialism is a siren song, lilting and lovely right up to the moment when it crashes the ship on the rocks and everybody drowns.

“Corporate wealth” doesn’t belong to the government and can’t be “shared” by politicians. To begin at the beginning, property rights are foundational to freedom. The right to own and enjoy your property is one of the fundamental rights, along with the right to life and liberty, on which the United States was built. “To secure these rights,” the Declaration of Independence states, “governments are instituted among men.”

It’s the protection of property rights that enables individuals to make long-term investments of time and money that lead to the creation of wealth. If the government can seize or redirect private property, there is little incentive to study, work, build, farm or invent. And who would invest in a start-up company on the terms that its future profits are “corporate wealth” to be divvied up by politicians?

The Sanders plan would require large private companies and all publicly traded corporations to give employees 20 percent ownership of the company and the right to elect 45 percent of the board of directors. Sanders would also break up large companies and “review” prior mergers, a thinly veiled mechanism for coercing companies into serving the interests of government officials.

Companies are free to compensate employees with profit-sharing plans and stock, but it’s not the role of the government to dictate compensation or management structure.

Sanders’ plan is a manifesto for government control of U.S. businesses, with talk of worker empowerment only a façade for a massive power grab that will crash us all on the rocks.


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