INSIDE SOURCES

Democratic socialism becoming less scary for Americans, says author

Nov 18, 2021, 5:14 PM
democratic socialism...
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at George Washington University in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, on his policy of democratic socialism, the economic philosophy that has guided his political career. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

SALT LAKE CITY — Advancing the policies of democratic socialism should revolve around what they buy for voters and not just about what the price tag is, an author, teacher and podcast host said.

Ben Burgis is a philosophy instructor at Georgia State University Perimeter College and the author of “Canceling Comedians While the World Burns: A Critique of the Contemporary Left” and host of the podcast “Give Them An Argument.” He joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson.

Boyd asked what listeners should be thinking about when they hear terms like democratic socialism.

Burgis said democratic socialists support broadly popular policies like Medicare for all and universal child care.

“Things like this that can take care of some people’s basic needs in ways that don’t rely on the market taking care of it,” he said.

Uber capitalism?

“You talk about it in terms of there being a moment for these kinds of policies. Why do you think this is the moment to be having those discussions?” Boyd asked.

Burgis said compare the difference between a cab driver in 2005, before the economic crash of 2008, and an Uber driver today. The cabbie probably belonged to a union, had health-care insurance and a good amount of job security. Today’s Uber driver must fret about their rating constantly, he said.

“They have no particular guarantee of future income. They’re certainly not unionized, and there’s an excellent chance they don’t even have health insurance,” Burgis said.

He added many workers in virtually all sectors of the economy have followed a similar job trajectory in their own ways.

“These are things that do create a lot of appetite for those democratic socialist policies that I’m talking about,” Burgis said. “The ‘s’ word, socialism, is probably much less scary to a lot of people now than would have been the case 20 years ago.”

Although, he admits, there is much work to be done in convincing people that these policies could actually be enacted. 

It costs how much?

As seen in the latest presidential campaign, Boyd said, the conversation about socialist policies ultimately arrives at the question of: How do we pay for all of this?

He said recently discussions about Biden’s legislative agenda have revolved around how much the bills cost and not about what they buy.

“I would argue that there’s a little bit of a double standard because we don’t do that with the military budget, for example,” Burgis said.

In terms of democratic socialism, he said, the proposed policies come down to — you get back more than you put in.

“I think there are countries elsewhere in the world where that argument has been won,” he said. “But when the entire discussion is framed in terms of price tag, obviously, you’re not gonna win that argument because people haven’t the vaguest idea of what they’re getting back.”

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Inside Sources

Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Mark Jones

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Rabbi Avremi Zippel joined Inside Sources Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
4 days ago
savings system right on the money...
Mark Jones

Economists are worried of a recession in 2023, financial expert weighs in

Many economists are fearing a recession in 2023 despite the U.S. economy ending last year better than expected.
5 days ago
BYU study finds we need to stop watering as much as we are....
Mark Jones

Speaker Wilson says Utah legislature is working hard on water issue

SALT LAKE CITY — Prior to the start of the 2023 Utah Legislative Session, it seemed like water would be a popular topic throughout the 45-day session. And a week into the session, that appears to be the case.  House speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) joined Inside Sources hosted by Maura Carabello and Taylor Morgan to […]
6 days ago
A “now hiring” sign is pictured at Salt Lake Running Company in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. ...
Curt Gresseth

Salt Lake Chamber president talks about fixing shortages in housing, labor and water in Utah

Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, joins the show to discuss three big problems facing Utah today: the housing, labor and water shortages.
7 days ago
egg cartons are pictured in a store fridge, there is currently an egg shortage...
Mark Jones

Smuggling eggs: What people will do these days to get eggs

ABC News correspondent Alex Stone tells KSL NewsRadio that he has heard reports of the smuggling of eggs into the country by citizens who live near the Mexico border.
11 days ago
The Utah Education Association is opposed to H. B. 215. The UEA says school choice and a teacher pa...
Mark Jones

UEA opposes H.B. 215, says “school choice” and teacher salaries are separate

The Utah Education Association wants a teacher pay increase with no strings attached.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Democratic socialism becoming less scary for Americans, says author