From Jonah Goldberg at National Review, The Failure of the New Deal:
Look, I know very well there are many kinds of socialism. But wherever socialism has teeth, it veers closer to gangsterism because it depends on the use of arbitrary power, either by the state or, in essence, the mob. If you really want economic equality, you need to take money from people who earned it and give it to, or spend it on, people who didn’t. “Fighting income inequality” doesn’t change the fact that the state is using force based upon an aesthetic conceit about how society should look.
When you hand power over to planners, technocrats, or commissars to substitute their judgement for the rule of law, you are behaving like an outlaw, because you are literally outside the law.
Now, you might object that if socialists come to power democratically and pass laws to “abolish billionaires” or otherwise confiscate wealth to give it to people “unwilling to work” or pay for the Green New Deal, it’s not unlawful. This gets thorny, and I don’t want to get deep into the weeds of Hayek’s distinction between law and legislation. But we don’t need to do that. First of all, one of the reasons we have a Bill of Rights is that the founders recognized that laws can be as illegitimate and dangerous as any monarchical whim. I would hardly be surprised if Nicholas Maduro and Hugo Chavez before him could point to some law or judicial ruling for every horrible thing they did. We know the Soviet Union had plenty of laws, but that didn’t make Stalin any less of a gangster. Once you are outside the rule of law, you live under the rule of force.
When the law moves away from neutral rules applicable to all, it moves toward arbitrary power, which is a form of tyranny. As John Locke put it, “tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to.” Tyranny is just a fancy word for gangsterism, because in both cases it’s about someone’s individual will being the ultimate authority. If it is tyrannical for a single ruler to violate your rights, it becomes no less tyrannical if 535 elected legislators do it.
Also From NR George Will, Green New Deal: Reality Continues to Leak from American Life:
Do they know how the actual New Deal fared? It was devoted to curing unemployment, but the unemployment rate never fell below 14 percent until 1941, eight years into the New Deal, as America prepared for war. The 1937–38 “depression within the Depression” was the 20th century’s third-worst recession.