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Chapter 34: Do your children (or grandchildren) understand Socialism?

September 4, 2012

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” —Winston Churchill, former prime minister of Great Briton
“The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.” —Ayn Rand, author, Atlas Shrugged

What’s wrong with Socialism

  • Socialism doesn’t work. Central planning by government never works over the long haul, partly because individual initiative is crushed and individual responsibility is discouraged. The collapse of communism is a prime example. Today the declining economies in most of Europe provide further evidence. The United States is right behind them with our relentless shift toward socialism and our demands that government address every problem.
  • More government means less freedom. As discussed in the “Government” chapter, an all-encompassing government leaves less room for the individual initiative that made America great.
  • Utopia or dictatorship. Socialism describes an economic system in which the government controls wealth and professes to redistribute it fairly. Such an idea often attracts well-intentioned idealists who genuinely hope socialism will lead to a utopian society in which there is no hunger or suffering. It may sound good at first (especially to those who consider themselves to be victims), but socialism always leads to oppressive governments run by ruthless dictators.
  • Individual serfdom. Socialism leaves no room for individual decision making. The government’s central planners control everything and make all of the decisions. They do this in the name of the people or the public good, but people become nothing more than small cogs in the government’s grand scheme of things.
  • Initiative dies. With individual choices no longer tolerated, initiative dies. It then becomes a matter of the government—through its ruling class or dictator—“fairly” distributing the declining fruits of a failing economy to increasingly oppressed and dispirited citizens.
  • Hunger and suffering. Does socialism always lead to increasingly totalitarian governments that leave no room for individual liberty and to declining economies that produce even more hunger and suffering? Yes. Always. No exceptions. Don’t take my word for this. Read some history, beginning with Friedrich A. Hayek’s classic book, The Road to Serfdom.


How to reverse America’s

slide toward Socialism 

  • Individual liberty. To stop America’s decline, we must recognize that the government can’t take care of us—despite the promises of politicians when they run for office. (For more about this concept, see the chapter titled “Freedom.”)
  • Limited government. We must recognize that governments—especially big governments—don’t do anything very well and often make matters even worse. (Also see the “Government” chapter.)
  • Rein in the career politicians. Capping their pay and eliminating their special benefits and pensions would be good first steps. (See “Career Politicians” for more details about this proposal.)
  • Free markets work best. As discussed in the “Economics” chapter, the only proven way to increase prosperity and reduce poverty is through individual liberty, capitalism, and free markets.
  • A safety net. As explained in the “Poverty” chapter, a negative income tax would provide incentives for people to pull themselves out of poverty and climb the economic ladder, while also eliminating the bureaucracy, waste, and fraud in existing federal, state, and local welfare programs.

“What is your fair share of what somebody else has earned?” —American columnist, economist, and author Thomas Sowell


“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money [to spend].”—British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher 

  1. Mike Ruddell permalink

    Socialism as applied to large populations leads to laziness and entitlement mentality. Socialism as seen in the Kung Bushman (ala The Gods Must Be Crazy) lead to harmony and all pitching in for the good of the group. The socialistic programs once begun, never can end for “humanitarian reasons” or so the proponents of the programs like to say. Case in point, the proponents for the 1% sales tax increase to “save or schools” said it was only temporary. Now they are again saying if we don’t renew the tax when it expires,” our children will suffer.” Same old tired rhetoric from the socialists. Let see, how about letting schools compete, and the bad ones fail, and the good ones succeed. A plan devised by Adam Smith (a devil along the lines of Ronald Reagan to socialists).


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