But decades later, in a new preface, the Nobel Prize winner wrote that "socialism has come to mean chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state." Yes, that's Obama's economic plan.
He concluded that even this softer socialism means reduced economic liberties, opportunities and living standards for all.
So to get from theory to practice, force must be used. Wealth must be taken by the state and not by a faceless bureaucratic machine, but rather by flawed humans with their own selfish ambitions and ulterior motives. They decide who gets what, taking cuts for themselves and their cronies in the process.
They see capitalism with its profit motive as vulgar and immoral because it's at odds with altruism the idea that the general welfare of society is the proper goal of individuals.
And check this out!
What they fail to realize is society is the greatest beneficiary of our system of rational self-interest. The poorest of the poor and the laziest of the lazy still benefit from the genius of the entrepreneur and the risk-taking of the venture capitalist.
Almost every modern-day invention, from lifesaving drugs to computer software, was inspired by profit, not public welfare. Yet everyone shares in the greater efficiencies, cost savings, life expectancies and job opportunities created by the inspiration and perspiration of money-hungry individuals.
No system in history has created more wealth, per capita, over a shorter time than unbridled American capitalism.
If Obama wins, he can claim a national mandate for his socialist agenda. If he gets a filibuster-proof majority of Democrats in the Senate, he might get major planks in that radical agenda passed in the first 100 days. It's shaping up as a battle between those who create wealth and those who loot it.
Cook County workers feeling heat
INVESTIGATIONS JUMP More than 5 times more probes this year
More people are ratting out Cook County employees alleging everything from theft, sexual harassment and carrying a gun at work to bribery, mismanagement and ethics violations.