|The Republican Socialist|
Producers Don't Seem Happy About It
Haugaard's harangue has a by gum, we ain't gonna let this happen in South Dakota, no way, no how tone to it, and, considering how easily HB 1087 sailed through legislation and into law, the language sells well to South Dakota's political market. But behind the pugnacious rhetoric, Haugaard, every Republican legislator who supported the law, and its signer Republican Governor Kristi Noem know one inescapable fact: Our state and its economy are riddled with socialistically supported institutions and private sector endeavors. Let's start with federal aid as a percentage of state revenues, which is typically about a third of the money that comes into state coffers. You might say, well, our residents pay federal taxes, so some of that money should be rightfully coming back to South Dakota. True enough, but South Dakota gets significantly more, about 15% more, than it sends to Washington, D.C. In 2016 (latest figures I could find) that amounted to $1.4 billion, which is about $1800 per resident. Nothing socialistic about that, right, South Dakota Republicans?
And then there's the bulwark of our state's economy, agriculture. Talk about socialism, the Farm Bureau just reported that 2019 farm income, nationally, will reach $88 billion, the highest since 2014. But, anti-socialists, get this. The Farm Bureau notes that "nearly 40% of that income is related to trade assistance, disaster assistance, and insurance indemnities." I can't find South Dakota-specific numbers, but considering that conditions here are similar to those in the farm belt, generally, it's reasonable to guess that our state's farmers are in the same shape as their peers across the region. With so much dependence on federal assistance, farmers lately seem to be wards of the state. How do South Dakota's vociferous opponents to socialism come to terms with this reality? They can''t. Nothing against the rationale for federal help (sans the trade assistance, which is a payoff for the disaster created by Trump's tariff war). It makes sense. We need farmers, period, which is more than enough reason for us to socialistically help them out as necessary.
But in the meantime, these anti-socialists who represent us are pushing other socialist schemes. Our elected officials are unified in supporting ethanol, which is socialistically-mandated for use because the free market needs the government to tell refiners how much they must consume. And we just had to pay a taxpayer-funded, socialistic bounty to kill thousands of predators in order to support our pheasant-hunting industry. Our Governor's Office Of Economic Development is another example. It offers socialistically-mandated employer-supported incentives and grants to businesses seeking to expand into South Dakota, but only if those expansion plans "would not have occurred" without assistance from GOED. In other words, if the free market makes it impossible for your business to come here, South Dakota taxpayers will gladly give you a socialistic hand.
Given the reality of the situation, it's hard to understand the browbeating that our socialistically-supported universities are getting. I trust campus administrators to make sure a diversity of opinions stock their marketplace of ideas, but if there is indeed "an increasing amount of socialism on our campuses nationwide," it's probably because the amount of it is increasing across the country. South Dakota's Republicans seem to have no problem encouraging it.