The US is a capitalist society. Always has been; always will be. It is based on free will, self-determination and free enterprise. If you work hard, you will be rewarded. If not, you won’t be. Do some people start life with an advantage over some others. Absolutely. Is that fair? No, but that’s the way of the world, and it will never change. As a wise teacher once said: “you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.” What our system affords is not equality so much as EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. If you think your lot in life is unfair, take a trip to a third-world country and see how the other 90% lives.
Some people think we would be better off under a Socialist system. Ask the people in Venezuela or Cuba how it has been working out for them. Moreover, if our capitalist system is so flawed, why are thousands of people travelling hundreds of miles and enduring severe hardship to get here? According to Wikipedia Socialism is defined as a “system in which the production and distribution of goods and services is a shared responsibility of a group of people.” There is “no privately owned property; everything is owned collectively.” Simply put, it is “share and share alike.” In theory, everyone is equal, but it never actually works that way in practice. In every socialist system there have been a class of elites who lived “high off the hog” at the expense of the majority. Socialism has never been successful anywhere. Think of the old USSR, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, the latest poster boy for Socialism.
Socialism does have a certain allure to the uninitiated. It sounds attractive. Who wouldn’t want free stuff – free medical care, free college, cradle to grave government support. Sign me up. But, wait. All that stuff is not really free. Somehow, it has to be paid for by someone. How do we pay for all these goodies without bankrupting the country? Raise taxes? Let the rich pay for it? We can argue whether or not that would benefit or hurt the economy, but these proposed programs would cost many trillions of dollars a year. No one even knows how much. There are simply not enough rich people to pay for it all. That’s why I say these socialist programs sound good, but they don’t really work. Never have; never will.
The 2020 presidential election is shaping up as a contest between Socialism and Capitalism. The Dem field has become ridiculously crowded. It seems like everybody and their mother is running for the Democratic nomination for president. Just in the last few days, NYC mayor, Bill De Blasio became the latest to declare, despite the fact that it is difficult to find even one supporter of his candidacy or of the job he has done as mayor. The mainstream media and talk show hosts, such as the ladies of “The View,” which generally are very supportive of Dem candidates, have mocked him incessantly. My favorite sarcastic headline was that of the “NY Post.” Check it out. However, the purpose of this blog is not to mock De Blasio. His candidacy is a joke, and not worth the time, yours or mine.
In my opinion, in an effort to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowded field, most of the 20 or so serious candidates have been espousing far left, some would say socialist, policies. It seems to me that they are all trying to outdo Bernie Sanders, who is at least an admitted Socialist. In this regard, they are under the mistaken impression that the opinions of a few media outlets and tweeters represent those of the electorate. They seem to be unaware that approximately 80% of the tweets are published by only some 10% of the tweeters. This small, but vocal, minority have had a disproportionate influence.
For example, below please find a partial list of the policies that some or all of these candidates have been supporting. In my view, each of them is extremely radical or Socialist, not well thought out, not practical, and/or ridiculously expensive. I have analyzed these n previous blogs. See how many of them you would support.
1. Single payer healthcare run by the feds. No more private insurance, which is presently enjoyed by about one-half of the populace.
2. Allow convicted felons, including rapists, murders and terrorists, to vote WHILE STILL IN PRISON.
3. Extend suffrage to those as young as 16.
4. Increase the number of Supreme Court justices. Already been tried; didn’t work.
5. Abolish the electoral college.
6. Abolish ICE.
7. Open/relaxed borders.
8. Green New Deal (ludicrous on its face).
9. Ban, or severely restrict travel by cars, trucks and airplanes.
10. Permit abortions up to and even immediately after birth.
11. Pay reparations to “oppressed” people based on race.
I don’t think any of the foregoing is supported by a majority of voters, even Dems. If the eventual Dem nominee has to run on these policies it would not go well for him or her.
Many people believe that the 2020 election will be a referendum on President Trump. I think that is true to an extent, however, as I said above, it appears to me that it will also come down to a referendum between Socialism and Capitalism. I would characterize it as nothing less than a fight for the very soul of America.
The Dems are espousing Socialism, although they call it Progressivism. The GOP is pushing the traditional Capitalism. In order to secure the Dem nomination the nominee will have tracked so far to the left he or she will need a GPS to get back to the middle where most of the voters reside. In such a referendum, Capitalism will almost assuredly prevail.
This is illustrated by the results of a recent poll by Monmouth University, which disclosed that 57% of those surveyed agreed that Socialism is “not compatible” with American values. Furthermore, only 10% had a positive opinion of Socialism. Socialism was more popular among Dems and young people, but I would argue that many of those people do not fully understand the ramifications of that system. If they fully understood it, they would likely reconsider.
Perhaps, I can demonstrate the fallacy of Socialism with two examples. They may be somewhat simplistic, but I think they illustrate the point nonetheless.
1. Consider two farmers, who live next to each other. Farmer A is a self-starter. He works from dawn to dusk, diligently planting, nurturing, harvesting, and marketing his crops. With the advent of winter he is flush with cash and food. Farmer B, is lazy. He does not tend to his business, preferring to lay about all day. He has a very poor crop. With the advent of winter he has insufficient food to eat and little cash on hand. Under a Socialist system Farmer A would be expected to share his food and cash equally with farmer B. How do you think he would feel about that?
2. Consider two students. They are in the same class. Student A studies hard, does his homework and projects and goes to class diligently. Student B does none of those things. Student A aces the final, whereas student B fails. Yet, under a Socialist system in order to spare the feelings of student B they would both get the same grade. How do you think student A would feel about that.
So, the next time someone advocates Socialism to you, think of these two examples.