- The Washington Times - Monday, June 10, 2019

Socialism still intrigues the public: 4 in 10 Americans say they would prefer living in a socialist country over a capitalist one, according to a new poll conducted by Harris for “Axios on HBO,” a news series. Gallup and other major pollsters have had similar findings in recent days. This one gets down to some gritty details, however.

Asked to define a “socialist political system,” between 57%-76% of the public approved of such socialist mainstays as universal health care, tuition-free education, living wages, state-control of private property and the economy, high taxes for the rich, “democratizing” private business and even state-controlled media and communications.

Yes, well.


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“Socialism is losing its Soviet-era stigma,” noted the poll, which also revealed a gender divide.

“55% of women between 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist country. But a majority of men prefer to live in a capitalist country,” the poll said.



“It’s been a truth of American politics for decades that women are to the left of men, and I think that’s playing out in this poll,” noted Axios analyst Felix Salmon.

Perhaps the ladies have a cozy notion about what a socialist nation would look like — many intrigued by the words of, among others, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Then there is the influence of what the popular press has called “Scandinavian-style socialism.”

“I know that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,” Danish Prime Minister Lars-Lokke Rasmussen told an audience at Harvard University in 2015 — back when Denmark was cited as global role model during the Democratic presidential debates by White house hopefuls Sen. Bernard Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The appeal persists four years later.

Women, said Axios analyst Alexi McCammond, are “looking for someone, a candidate on either side, who’ll support this idea of a socialist country that they want to live in.”

IMMIGRATION NUMBERS OF NOTE

Here are a few numbers to put the current border crisis in perspective, advises the Federation for Immigration Reform, a nonpartisan public interest group.

There were 357,000 apprehensions migrants attempting to illegally cross the southwestern border between March and May, according to figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The average number apprehended per day was 4,500 in May; the largest number of apprehensions in a single day in the month was 5,235. There were 55,000 children who tried to cross the border illegally in May.

The organization also reports that the House Appropriations Committee’s fiscal 2020 Homeland Security spending bill does not provide any funding for additional Border Patrol agents, border barriers or checkpoints — and offers Immigration and Customs Enforcement $1.11 billion less than President Trump’s 2020 request.

In addition, the federal agency recently reported that its agents apprehended the largest group ever encountered — 1,045 individuals intent on crossing the border near El Paso, Texas — bringing the total number of immigrants who crossed the border illegally to 530,000 so far this fiscal year.

THE BOTTOM LINE

It is a mighty modus operandi — and an effective one.

“I know it is not at all ‘Presidential’ to hit back at the Corrupt Media, or people who work for the Corrupt Media, when they make false statements about me or the Trump Administration. Problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the Fake News is true. So we’ll hit back!” President Trump noted in a tweet Monday.

THE ODDS ARE NO

Yes, people bet on all sorts of things. Sportbetting.ag, a cybergambling site, has the odds on some timely matters of interest — and these are a direct quotes from the online casino:

“Will the House of Representatives pass articles of impeachment against President Trump before end of his first term? Yes 2/1 (+200), No 2/5 (-250.) Note: The odds imply a 71.43 percent probability articles will not be passed.”

And one more:

“Will the Democratic Party gain access to President Trump’s federal tax returns before end of his first term? Yes 3/2 (+150), No 1/2 (-200) The odds imply a 66.67 percent probability returns will not be accessed.”

INSIGHT ON THE ‘HERMIT KINGDOM’

An event of note on Tuesday: “Peering Beyond the DMZ: Understanding North Korea behind the headlines,” a policy forum at the Cato Institute in the nation’s capital.

On hand to weigh in: Heidi Linton, executive director of Christian Friends of Korea; Randall Spadoni, North Korea program director and senior regional adviser for East Asia at World Vision; and Daniel Jasper, public education and advocacy coordinator for Asia at the American Friends Service Committee. Cato senior fellow Doug Bandow is the moderator.

“Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are at an impasse, and tensions are rising. And while neither side appears to want a war, the path to a diplomatic solution remains unclear. What is obvious, however, is that most U.S. policymakers have little understanding of what the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is or how it operates, a fact that limits America’s ability to peacefully resolve the crisis,” notes the host organization.

The guests, they say, have considerable insight.

See the 90-minute forum streamed live at 12 noon EDT at Cato.org/live.

POLL DU JOUR

48% of Americans say they consider a major political candidate’s position on abortion as one of many factors that influence their vote: 47% of Republicans, 46% of independents, 52% of Democrats, 40% of conservatives and 43% of liberals agree.

29% would only vote for a candidate who shares their view on abortion: 28% of Republicans, 31% of independents, 28% of Democrats, 33% of conservatives and 36% of liberals agree.

18% don’t see abortion as a major issue: 21% of Republicans, 19% of independents, 15% of Democrats, 21% of conservatives and 16% of liberals agree.

5% are undecided: 4% of Republicans, 5% of independents, 4% of Democrats, 6% of conservatives and 4% of liberals agree.

Source: A CNN/SSRS survey of 902 registered U.S. voters conducted May 28-31 and released Thursday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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