Progressives have ridiculed anyone who suggested that the Democratic Party would move to the left and produce politicians who could push for socialist policies when they were in power. This extreme slippery slope argument is not convincing, and I will admit it. Both sides embrace big government policies. This should be alarming given the “America First”, approach adopted by Republicans recently. The nomination by the Biden Administration of Saule Omarova, a Cornell University Law School Professor, to be Comptroller for the Currency raises questions about whether I dismissed the possibility too quickly.
Omarova’s academic works are worth considering. The Wall Street JournalNotes that she wants to “end banking” as it is known. This includes transferring all private banking functions to the Federal Reserve. Accounts would then “fully replace” bank deposits. According to her plan, JournalContinues she, “The Fed will control “systemically important prices” for fuel, food and raw materials as well as natural resources and home prices. After the Fed transforms into “the ultimate public platform to generate, modify, and allocate financial resources in an economy modern,”
As a member the Financial Stability Oversight Council, she will be able to manage “systemically significant” risk. It is important to examine her actions and words. Omarova, in keeping with the style of contemporary progressives accuses people who point out this aspect of her agenda as misogyny and xenophobia and racism. She is “a woman and an immigrant” and she’s a minority. As a woman, and immigrant myself, I can assure Omarova that it isn’t what motivates me.
What disturbs me is Omarova’s belief that fixing the flaws of the financial sector requires nothing resembling ridding the system of cronyism or the perverse incentives created by too-big-to-fail policies, but instead a massive—and indeed unprecedented in the United States—expansion of political control over the private economy.
Her ideas may sound somewhat like those of the USSR. Omarova was awarded the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship in 1989 from Moscow State University. However, just because you were born or raised in a country does not mean that your beliefs are the same. I come from France, where there’s still an active communist party and where the left and the right fight to see who can be furthest to the left of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.). However, I have never tried to turn the United States into France. Actually, most of my day is spent trying to stop such a tragedy.
Omarova is a genuine believer that the USSR has better policies than the USA. She tweeted that, for example, “Until my visit to the U.S. I could not imagine things such as a gender pay gap in our world today.” “You can speak your mind about the Soviet Union, but there were no gender gaps there. Later, she clarified that “I never said women and men were treated equally in all aspects of Soviet life.” However, the salaries of people were determined (by state) without regard to gender. Women also received generous maternity and stipend benefits. They are still pipe dreams in our society!
Let’s not forget about her revisionist history that a dictatorship that killed millions has left us with the fact that most American workers don’t get paid sick leave because there is no federal paid-leave mandate. It is true that the country has an expanding number of companies providing ample fringe benefits that are not required to be provided by the government. Paid leave is one of these fringe benefits. This benefit covers approximately 60 percent of employees and is more flexible and accommodating than plans currently being reviewed in Congress.
Omarova’s ignorance about “gender pay gaps” is no different. The U.S. has a small pay gap when properly measured. This is now acknowledged by both parties. Claudia Goldin from Harvard Economics shows that this gap isn’t due to gender discrimination. Instead, it’s the product mothers want more flexible careers and less time-consuming jobs.
The contents of this column are only a small part of Omarova’s radical policies, misguided praises for her country and its corrupt and tyrannical economy. Omarova’s nomination is puzzling, especially since it was made by a president who has been elected to be moderate. It is a reminder of those who warn that we are on the slippery slope to socialism.
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