For some reason, many people today want socialism. I’m not sure why.
I remember reading George Orwell’s classic novel, Animal Farm, in high school.
I remember reading about the first colonies and the starving people because they refused to work.
I remember hearing about Hitler and the Nazis — the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
I have watched the news stories about countries like Venezuela and all their starving citizens.
I know that socialism is a watered-down form of Communism. I understand the purpose of both socialism and communism is a redistribution of wealth — the basis being that everyone is entitled to the same things: basic income, a guaranteed home, guaranteed healthcare and so on.
I also understand somebody has to pay for those things.
If everyone is guaranteed an income, why would anyone work?
If everyone is guaranteed a place to live, then who owns the homes? Does the government automatically acquire everyone’s homes?
If everyone is guaranteed healthcare, then we end up with another version of Obamacare, where a significant number of working class people cannot afford to go to the doctor because of their health insurance.
So why do so many people want socialism?
For what reason have young people been taught that taking from those who work to give to those who do not work is the way to go?
Are we promoting a lazy society, a society in which an entire generation refuses to get a job, move out of their parent’s house and take responsibility for their own actions?
Social justice is another part of socialism; a part which says that society is responsible for everybody’s bad behavior and nobody is responsible for their own actions.
Incidentally, that is exactly what Colin Kapernick was talking about when he started kneeling on the field. Don’t believe me? Look it up.
What he originally said before it became part of race wars was that he was protesting the separating of children from their incarcerated parents. He wanted jails and prisons shut down, every man for himself — but I digress.
Returning to the original question: Why do so many people want socialism instituted in the United States?
To answer that question, I put a post on social media asking people’s opinion on socialism. The answers I got were all pretty much the same.
They fall into one of two categories: for or against. Most people had pretty much the same reason why, as well. I will summarize and let you form your own opinion.
The people for socialism believe it makes all property belong to everybody. Of course, the only way to accomplish that feat is to make the government the owner of all property.
If you believe the people own the government, then you believe the people own property.
That’s not exactly how it works under socialism, but that’s what they believe. Part of that goes back to the anti-capitalism concept.
Under capitalism, the rich, upper-class people create the jobs. The lower-class, or working-class, work for the upper-class people.
(In actual practice, capitalism also creates a robust middle-class of business owners, professionals, skilled workers and others as capital (i.e., money and other assets) is efficiently distributed throughout the economy based on the supply and demand created by individuals freely exercising their choice.)
In our society, we added in a basic income for lower-class people in the form of welfare benefits. Those benefits are actually a form of socialism.
Before they were instituted, people would care for the sick and elderly in their families and communities. Nobody told them they had to or how to do it. They just did because it was the right thing to do.
Under socialism, the government takes what it wants, or considers your “fair share,” to divvy out to the less fortunate.
That brings me around to what the people opposed to socialism had to say.
Under socialism, people are rewarded for not working. Soon, those people who are working start to figure out that it is not worth working their lives away to have exactly what non-working people have.
Very quickly, the number of non-working people starts to grow. This creates a domino effect.
Under this scenario, the amount of money and property that the government must acquire, or tax, from the working class people must increase.
It must increase in order to cover the shortfall of the people no longer working. It also must increase in order to pay benefits to the newly unemployed.
Eventually, the borderline, or middle-class, people are paying so much in taxes that they must also request government benefits or welfare to survive.
It is a vicious circle which traps more and more people as they go along.
As Winston Churchill noted, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
I commonly hear people claim other countries have failed at socialism because they are not doing it right.
The only thing I can derive from that statement is that people believe other governments have not found the proper incentive to keep people working.
Perhaps the proper incentive, which is what capitalism is all about, is to stop taking away the hard-earned money of workers in order to give it to people who do not deserve it.
As University of Michigan Professor Mark J. Perry, who has extensively documented the history of socialism, concluded from his studies:
“As we’ve learned from countless examples throughout history, including now Venezuela, the main difference between capitalism and socialism is this: Capitalism works.”
As for supporters of socialism themselves, famed economist Ludwig von Mises observed:
“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement.
“They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent.
“They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!”
ALICE BARNES of Henry County is a member of the local Volunteers for Freedom Tea Party. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.