11 Feb Socialism – The Big Lie
It’s not often that a UFI reader will ask me to write about a particular subject. I got a phone call from someone a few days ago who lamented that he was “trying to have an open mind about socialism but after doing some research, just felt like it would never work.” After picking my jaw up off the floor, I assured him that if he wanted a quick primer on Socialism, I would oblige. So here goes.
In a nut shell, Socialism fails because it totally disregards human incentive. Incentives are a large part of what motivates human beings to succeed. Most people love to work and do a good job. But what incentive is there when there’s no incentive? Socialism cripples people and makes them dependent on government programs which eventually results in poverty and misery except for a few at the top.
Then why do some politicians vehemently vow to change the American economic system to Socialism? Perhaps they truly believe it would work if “they” were at the helm or maybe they know that it appeals to the masses because it sounds glorious and easy. A perfect example of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”
Socialism is an economic system where goods and services, and the profits derived from such, are distributed amongst the workers. Individual effort and success are actually frowned upon.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
In other words, no matter who does the work, or who sits around and watches, profits or benefits get distributed equally. As opposed to Capitalism, where those who work harder and smarter, generally get a bigger return and make more money than those who don’t. A system where the free market determines winners and losers.
Communism, on the other hand, is an ideology that believes government should own everything, including property, housing, etc and then distributes needs as the elite few see fit. Communist elites pick winners and losers. Take Russia for example which is one of the world’s wealthiest countries in natural resources. This beautiful country is rich in land, rivers, oil, diamonds, gold, etc. Yet Russia remains poor. Why? Because Communistic and Socialistic principles stifle their most valuable resource – human resource.
“By their failure to foster, promote, and nurture the potential of their people through incentive-enhancing institutions, centrally planned economies deprive the human spirit of full development. Socialism fails because it kills and destroys the human spirit–just ask the people leaving Cuba in homemade rafts and boats.” (Mark J. Perry, FEE, May 31, 1995).
When Bernie Sanders declared his bid for the White House, I literally laughed. He is an avowed self-proclaimed, and proud-of-it Socialist. Many politicians share his same views but hide in the shadows afraid to admit it because Socialism has never worked…Ever….in any society…Ever! But along comes Sanders who draws enormous crowds all clamoring and mesmerized by the seductive call for free stuff. Many have no idea what it even means.
“Yes! I love to be social!” Frightening!
Socialism is the Big Lie of the twenty-first century. While it promises prosperity, equality, and security, it delivers poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality is achieved only in the sense that everyone shares equal misery.
Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.
Look at it this way. You have five kids who have chores on Saturday morning. Total family allowance for the week is $50. How will it get done? Twelve year old, Beth, hops out of bed and cleans all three bathrooms, mops the kitchen floor and cleans the kitchen after fixing breakfast, does four loads of laundry, dusts all the furniture, and mows the lawn. Then the other four children roll out of bed and demand a fair share of the weekly allowance. Hey, they’re part of the family too! Why does Beth get all the wealth? So mom and dad equally distribute the $50 so each gets $10. That’s Socialism.
Or… the night before, mom and dad hand out an equally dispersed list of jobs per child and explain that upon completion and a job well done, each child will receive $10. If any child chooses not to finish their work, not only will they lose the $10, but other privileges will be revoked. That’s Capitalism.
Or… mom and dad threaten a life-sentence and house arrest if they don’t get up and get their jobs done…NOW! That’s Communism – the ends are met with force. (Hmmm… that one may actually sound vaguely familiar to my own kids!) Which of the three systems would your kids most respond to?
After the New Hampshire primary results rolled in Tuesday night, I listened to Bernie Sanders give his victory speech as he extolled the virtues of Socialism. Free college tuition! Free health care for all! $15 minimum wage! The list of free goodies would have made Santa pale in comparison. Who pays for all this “free” stuff? Those rotten rich and wealthy people!! Yes! Get ‘em! You could almost hear the cheers of the would-be Socialists.
However, as Margaret Thatcher so wisely stated, “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Imagine what would happen if everyone making over $100K suddenly quit their job March 1st? Government would collapse without the evil “rich” people! What do the evil but smart rich people do when their wealth is threatened? Take it overseas or find some legal loophole to hide it where a Socialist government can’t get at it. That’s called Capitalism – the Free Market. It always comes out on top. It’s what human behavior is instinctively drawn to.
Are there evil capitalists in America? Plenty. But that’s the whole crux of this argument. We’re dealing with flawed human beings. If people were perfect and self-disciplined, any form of government would work beautifully.
Capitalism has been more successful throughout history lifting people out of misery and poverty than any other form of government. Socialism has failed 100% of the time. Check out any history book about any civilization that has tried Socialism and you will discover the big lie perpetrated by people hungry for power. Human beings have certain basic needs and desires–none of which are satisfied through Socialism. This will be a historic election that will alter the very fiber of our society. Educate yourself and choose wisely.