Socialism is an opposing system to capitalism developed in the last several hundred years where voluntary trades in the private and the free marketplace by individuals are replaced by centralized planning. In no way can these planners make economic decisions for the millions and satisfy everyone’s needs or set prices nearly as accurately as can the millions each do for themselves. Miracles promised by socialistic politicians seeking power can never happen because socialism is inefficient, wasteful, and expensive. Why then should our prosperous and successful country flirt with the ills of socialism? Because offering “free gifts” is an easy sell to the masses. Why bother making tough decisions? Easier to let government figure things out. But inefficiency runs up tons of debt, and this debt can eventually destroy our country.
Socialism dictates that all economic decisions are through centralized planning. To control all economic decisions for the millions in a country by a one-size-fits-all plan, this can in no way satisfy the needs and wants of every individual. Only by letting every individual pick and choose what each wants and can afford, has it proven time and again, country after country, that a free-market system is the best system of all for everyone. Anything less ends with economic distortions, waste, and worse. Leaders, buying votes with massive spending programs to stay in power lead to unsustainable debt. Eventually, without change, there is government collapse, and then tyranny.
Germany in the mid-nineteen thirties was the most socialist country on earth. Socialism didn’t work in post-WW II Britain. The government owned the steel mills, the railroads, and the mines. In near economic collapse and with economic stagnation, Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1979 and started the country back to health. Later, the Soviet Union finally collapsed. Today there is Cuba, North Korea, and China. Who would want to live there? And, then there is Venezuela.
The Venezuela story is really awful. In 1950 Venezuela had the fourth highest per capita income in the world, behind only the U.S., Switzerland, and New Zealand. Around 1958, the government started interfering with the economy with price controls, higher taxes, and restrictions on property rights. Then Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999. Benefiting from about one trillion dollars in oil sales during his 14 years in power, he launched massive social spending programs to secure votes. Today, the country with the world’s largest oil reserves suffers from a severely contracting economy, runaway inflation, despotism, mass immigration, criminality, disease, hunger and starvation with conditions deteriorating daily.
Politicians today who favor socialism are Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others. They favor government owning, or at least controlling the means of production. Socialism has also been used to refer to expanding already available social programs and potentially raising taxes to do so.
Why do young people turn away from capitalism? Some look at business people as greedy, who frequently bend the rules, and when they gift to charities saying they want to give back, people think they stole wealth to begin with. And it doesn’t help when the heads of huge corporations after laying off many, retire, taking out millions. And the millennials, even if they find work, don’t pay much in taxes, yet hear of health care insurance premiums going through the roof, and think it only fair that government give it to them free.
Finally, what’s the differences between socialism, communism, and fascism? A matter of degree; socialism replacing capitalism’s innovative entrepreneurs and competition, with centralized planning, and owning the means of production. Going all the way leads to communism and a tyrant in charge, and when the allure of communism fades, it gives way to fascism. Hitler before, Putin today.
Bottom line, socialism never works.