Would Kshama Sawant have allowed Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to make and sell computers for a profit? That's an obvious question if you read Sawant's Why Socialism? pages on her campaign pages.
She starts with this claim:
...governments that merely regulate the excesses of capitalism are incapable of escaping the system's inherent flaws and grotesque inequalities.
I can't figure out why we can't regulate rather than having to own. But it's an interesting point for discussion. She expands a bit but then it's just more assertion:
But as long as corporations are privately owned, no matter how regulated they are, they will be locked into a system of cut-throat competition and our entire society will be structured around one fundamental purpose – maximizing short-term corporate profits, not the needs of humanity or the environment.
Mere assertion. BS, really. "[N]o matter how regulated they are" is a long time. Surely there must be many potential regulatory mechanisms to control the behavior of a corporation. Ok, another good point of discussion.
But then she gets specific and proposes "taking the top 500 corporations that dominate our economy (the Wal-Marts, Exxon-Mobils, United Health Groups, Halliburtons, Microsofts, etc.) into public ownership." So if you start thinking about it she is including Costco, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Amazon (of course!) and of course Apple.
So I wonder if she would have allowed Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to even start their company to make and sell computers, and actually hoping to make a profit. Their profit to use or share as they liked.
Or would she have said something like "Sure go ahead and make computers but if your company gets to sell $X million per year then The People will 'take' your company."
The idea is chilling not only because of its stupidity, its counterproductivity, at so many many levels but specifically we'd miss out on the joy of using an iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad etc etc since it's inconceivable that a committee of The People would ever create such great works of technology.
I hope that Sawant can find a convincing to explain it all away though I kinda doubt she can. And I hope that I am being unfair. But Sawant specifically raised the issue of "taking" large companies of Apple's scale. So it's fair to ask if there ever would have been Apple? Would there be a dampening effect on the certain knowledge that enormous success would be "taken"? It would be intertesting to hear Sawant discuss societal prosperity. Seattle has had quite a few entrepenurial successes. Would Sawant be seriously saying that if you succeed we will take you? Not that we will regulate you, which I think is fair and appropriate and necessary. But that we will take your company -- whether for just compensation or not. Sounds screwy but that appears to be what she is saying.