This article originally appeared on the Wall Street Journal on July 21, 2019.
‘How do I get on the anti-endorsement list?!?” a friend emailed. It turns out Bernie Sanders counts me as No. 3 of his top 13 “enemies.” It felt more like an honor than a criticism, so I tweeted that I was “proud to say” I made the cut.
Mr. Sanders introduces his list with a quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1936 Madison Square Garden speech: “They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.” FDR’s “enemies” list consisted of abstractions, not persons: “business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.”
At any rate, I don’t hate Bernie, and there’s nothing personal about my disagreements with him. In my recent book, “The Capitalist Comeback,” I note that we got along pretty well the one time we met and I was impressed by his willingness to discuss issues on which we had some common ground, such as worker training and trade.
There are signs Mr. Sanders and I are even closer in our views than I thought. I believe people should take pride in meeting the needs of others. It is the essence of capitalism that individuals benefit personally from doing so. The result is prosperity and abundance. Socialism’s redistribution discourages them from aspiring to create more, causing poverty and want.
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