FPI / January 3, 2020
In his second quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, ancient socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders likes to rail against capitalism while reaping its benefits personally and in his campaign, a columnist noted.
Sanders, a millionaire thanks to America’s system of capitalism, raised $34.5 million in the final three months of 2019. It was the most any of the 2020 Democratic Party presidential contenders raised in one quarter.
For the year, his campaign collected $96 million.
“So vast is the wealth generated by the U.S. market economy that in 2019 Americans could afford to spend nearly $100 million just on a campaign to criticize it,” James Freeman noted in a Jan. 2 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. “Actually, the presidential campaign” of Sanders “isn’t the only one dedicated to attacking the free choices of free people. But among the contenders for the Democratic nomination, the Marxist millionaire is the king of campaign cash.”
Freeman said of the 78-year-old Sanders: “Just like the ‘bionic man’ character of 1970s television, today’s $96 Million Man has recently been partially rebuilt. Following an October heart attack, doctors made him better than he was by installing stents in a coronary artery and prescribing medication.”
What Sanders lacks, Freeman noted, “is the good sense to recognize that the socialist dreams of his youth have created misery wherever they’ve been tried. As innovative as American medical researchers are, so far they’ve been unable to find a cure for this condition.”
The Journal’s Brianna Abbott had previously reported that Google’s health research unit, one of the many profit-seeking corporations that Sanders likes to criticize, may be on the cusp of a significant advancement in the diagnosis of other ailments.
“Google’s health research unit said it has developed an artificial-intelligence system that can match or outperform radiologists at detecting breast cancer, according to new research. But doctors still beat the machines in some cases,” Abbott reported. “The model, developed by an international team of researchers, caught cancers that were originally missed and reduced false-positive cancer flags for patients who didn’t actually have cancer, according to a paper published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.”
Freeman noted: “As we look forward to more innovation generated by market economies, it’s also useful to look back and consider how far we’ve come.”
As Matt Ridley wrote in the UK’s Spectator magazine:
Let nobody tell you that the second decade of the 21st century has been a bad time. We are living through the greatest improvement in human living standards in history. Extreme poverty has fallen below 10 per cent of the world’s population for the first time... child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio and heart disease are all in decline...
Efficiencies in agriculture mean the world is now approaching ‘peak farmland’ — despite the growing number of people and their demand for more and better food, the productivity of agriculture is rising so fast that human needs can be supplied by a shrinking amount of land. In 2012, Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University and his colleagues argued that, thanks to modern technology, we use 65 per cent less land to produce a given quantity of food compared with 50 years ago. By 2050, it’s estimated that an area the size of India will have been released from the plough and the cow.
Land-sparing is the reason that forests are expanding, especially in rich countries. In 2006 Ausubel worked out that no reasonably wealthy country had a falling stock of forest, in terms of both tree density and acreage. Large animals are returning in abundance in rich countries; populations of wolves, deer, beavers, lynx, seals, sea eagles and bald eagles are all increasing; and now even tiger numbers are slowly climbing.
Free Press International