This is an expansion of my response to this article in a discussion with a friend.
Looking through Sanders’ speech, one can’t help but think he believes that the vast majority of America’s economic problems will disappear if more people have more stuff.
Uh... yeah. That's kind of a tautology. If your problem is lots of poor people, then those people having more stuff gets rid of that problem. Redefining the problem to be a spiritual one, wherein we just ignore the fact that we are starving, is a delaying tactic. It by no means prevents the inevitable social instability that comes from millions of people being unable to feed their children.
This article is just so much noise, ignoring the fundamental reality: the programs Sanders proposes have a decades long track record of providing better measurable outcomes in every way. Ignoring the measurable well being of actual people in the name of abstract philosophical goals is just another from of despotism.
The American experiment is that people rule themselves, by a government of their choosing. It has nothing at all to do with a rejection of socialism. If the people want socialized medicine, it would be unamerican to tell them they can't have it because a man two centuries dead said so.
Every law trades the freedom of some people for the security of some people. This is the fundamental concept of government. Laws creating police and courts and jails to protect us from robbers require us all to pay taxes; we don't get to opt out and just take our chances getting robbed. Laws creating militaries to protect us from invasion are identical. There is no conceptual difference between those scenarios and laws protecting us from catastrophic medical expenditure, or environmental destruction, or joblessness.
The only question is which trades are good. How much freedom (typically in taxation) do we sacrifice, and how much do we gain by doing so? Each trade should be analyzed for its own merits. To claim that the trades that were good 200 years ago will remain the only good trades for the rest of time is not an position that can be rationally derived from any set of premises. It is an axiom in itself, a religious belief, and its implementation leads, as I say, to despotism.
As Jefferson said, the Earth belongs to the living.