Another interesting article, which quotes from Sowell's column:
Barack Obama: Socialist or Nouveau Fascist?
...So if Obama isn't a socialist, what is he? Economically speaking it's far more accurate to say that he is a fascist -- a supporter of dirigisme, in which government manages the economy through central planning, not collective ownership. Fascism did not seek to stamp out the innovative, wealth-creating potential of profit-seeking investment and entrepreneurship - instead it sought to channel those innovations (and funnel that wealth) to the good of the state.
"In fascist Italy the state pays for the blunders of private enterprise," Italian social critic Gaetano Salvemini wrote in the mid-1930s.
When business was good, "profit remained to private initiative." However when downturns came (as they inevitably do), "the government added the loss to the taxpayer's burden."
"Profit is private and individual," Salvemini wrote. "Loss is public and social."
This is the basis of fascism's "third way" between laissez-faire capitalism and Marxism. It's also precisely the economic system we see at work in America today, a centralized bureaucratic oligarchy in which farm subsidies, investments in "green jobs," Wall Street bailouts, Export-Import Bank subsidies and numerous other taxpayer-funded incentives manipulate the market to serve specific political purposes.
Obviously the fascist analogy isn't perfect. Unlike Obama, fascists abhorred class warfare (and labor's efforts to foment it) because such societal divisions ran counter to their nationalist ideology. And while fascist economic policies can certainly perpetuate the redistribution of wealth, they also tend to create powerful privileged elites that leverage tax dollars and political favors so as to manipulate the market in their favor.
So is Obama's brand of 21st century socialism/ nouveau fascism really "more insidious" than pure socialism, as Sowell suggests? Yes, because unlike socialism - the public sector never "takes a loss," as the recent bureaucratic bailouts made clear.
Also consider this: Is any property really "private" if the government can take it based on little more than a whim? And is any sector of the economy really "private" as long as government can swoop in and set its prices and production quotas? And finally, is any market truly "free" if government can compel citizens to make specific purchases?
Of course not -- all of which makes Obama's ideology dangerous no matter what label we slap on it.