The other day I went to a Hollywood luncheon crammed with producers, directors, writers and other film industry notables.
One of them, Larry Gelbart of "MASH" fame, spoke telling the group that since capitalism has failed, why don't we try socialism?
Try socialism? Take a sip of it and see how it tastes? It doesn't work that way.
There's an old saying that you can't be half-socialist any more than you can be half-pregnant; get knocked up with a socialist fetus and you'll have to deliver a full-born Marxist. There's nothing inbetween. Try it, you'll like it, and if you don't, as the lads in the Gestapo used to tell people, they had ways to make them like it.
Larry Gelbart gorged himself at the capitalist table and came away with untold millions, now safely banked, and continues to collect even more millions from never-ending reruns of the "MASH" sitcom. Having made his bundle from our capitalist free-enterprise system, he seems to be telling us now that the rest of us should get in the socialist bread-line and eat crumbs while he feasts on caviar.
One of the realities of this age is that the great mass of the American people haven't traveled abroad to see how the rest of the world lives, a lot of it under dreary socialist regimes with stalled economies and no real chance for advancement for the ordinary citizen.
Moreover, our shoddy educational curriculum that has left most younger Americans so deficient in the study of history that vast numbers of them think George Washington was a Civil War general, or a lumberman who chopped down cherry trees. They have no real understanding of the economic system that allowed us to become the wealthiest and most powerful nation since the Roman Empire ruled most of the known world 2000 years ago.
Given that mournful reality, the moment the economic Rolls Royce engine that drove this nation to the top of the hill stalls, instead of installing new spark plugs to get it going again they go looking for an alternative mode of transportation.
In the present case, Obama and the Democrats are directing them to Larry Gelbart's used-economic system lot where he shows them a jalopy with a fancy paint job on the outside and a one-cylinder motor inside that goes chug-chug.
Listening to the advice of a man who made his name and his money on a show about America's military at war -- yet told the same audience that our armed forces are nothing but "mercenaries" -- doesn't seem the smartest thing to do.