Does a system of government where the government gets to steal money from you and re-distribute it to other people sound fair to you? Are you okay with government officials making the most amount of money in our society? This is called socialism. Socialists care more about everyone having the same amount of “success” rather than allowing other people to work hard and succeed. This breaks down progress. Throughout history socialism has been tried over and over and is now again becoming a huge topic in politics.
Socialism is a growing ideology in today’s society and is especially important because of Bernie Sanders running for the 2020 election (Democratic Presidential Hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders). It is important to know the specifics of the policies our presidential candidates are supporting because it can affect our economy in many different ways. In today’s age, there are 2 main types of socialism; democratic socialism and traditional socialism. Traditional socialism is a system of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control. Private property rights are abolished and stripped away from everyone.
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Democratic socialists are more anti-capitalist, they don’t feel socialism should be forced on people, but they are fundamentally anti-capitalist and believe the government should urge privately owned businesses toward granting workers as much control as possible. This is contradictory because in 2018 a survey was sent to citizens of the US asking whether or not they think socialism grants more control to the citizens and the majority people from both the left and right wings voted that more control was granted to the government (US Beliefs Regarding the Power of Individuals in a Socialist System, 2018). Democratic socialism is “modern day socialism”. In reality, they’re the same thing, but government officials these days use the term democratic socialism as if it sounds any better. An argument that’s made a lot of the time by the opposing side is that workers aren’t getting paid enough and capitalism is the reason why there is an increasing poverty rate, but this article shows that over 96% of people were paid over minimum wage and that capitalism got more people out of poverty than any other type of economic system.
There are 4 simple things you need to do in order to not be poor; graduate high school, get any kind of job, don’t have kids before marriage, and be a law abiding citizen (Williams). It doesn’t sound hard does it? Well that’s because it isn’t. Another reason politicians are against socialism is because it has failed every single time it has been tried in Israel, India, and Sweden and so have state owned enterprises in Mexico and South Africa (Stephens). Socialism is an unfair system built upon false principles and if used in the united states would ultimately go against what the united states built itself upon and strip citizens of their rights.
Socialism completely gets rid of our property rights (Williams). This reason alone should show you that socialism is a very bad idea. Every citizen in America is recognized to having natural rights that the government cannot infringe upon. The fifth amendment of the constitution guarantees people of the United States of America our property rights by saying no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Private property is something that cannot be taken away. All crimes are crimes against property, for example slavery is stealing someone’s labor. Therefore we need private property to protect ourselves from criminal behavior. If you can’t protect yourself then the most basic rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness cannot be guaranteed except in the name of the collective majority. This kind of reality always cancels individual rights therefore eliminating the protection of natural rights that a free republic has to offer. Everyone with morals can agree that theft is a bad thing and is against the law, so how come socialism allows the government to steal from us?
Socialists think that it is okay for congress to take the earnings of one american to give to another american in the form of agricultural subsidies, business bailouts, aid for higher education, food stamps, welfare, and other such activities that make up at least two-thirds of the federal budget (Williams). If a random person stole something from a store, they would go to jail, but if a congressman did the same thing he would be praised. Taking away private property doesn’t allow people to own their own business and denies the capitalistic importance of these four pillars: wealth, time, leverage and other people’s money. Instead, they corrupt them to their own destructive ends. If someone is starting a business and taking the risk of it failing and going bankrupt they should be paid more and have more control than the workers. If the business goes bankrupt the owner will have to pay for it not the workers. If the business fails the owner will lose money not the workers. Therefore it’s not fair to demand the same amount of control and wage the owner of the business gets. Socialists reward those who treat money poorly and penalize those who treat money well, the system will never work. They are lazy and want to make money just for existing instead of putting in the proper work.
Socialism has never worked and failed every single time it has been attempted. It always led to crisis: hyperinflation for Israel in 1980s; an I.M.F. bailout for India in 1991; a banking meltdown for Sweden in 1992 (Stephen). The union in Israel wanted to make everyone’s wages equal so that everyone earned equally but every time the workers from one trade tried to catch up with another the spiral went up. Selfishness is human nature, it’s not realistic to demand equality of money between everyone. People are greedy and eventually will want more money. (Israel) The Labor Party, which controlled the unions, kept the inflationary spiral going, asserting that it was merely trying to maintain living standards for the workers which eventually caused the system to collapse. What about social democracy? Isn’t it the norm in Europe, and isn’t it working pretty well? You wouldn’t know it by the way Europeans are voting.
France’s Socialists ran a left-wing candidate in last year’s presidential election, and crawled away with barely 6 percent of the vote. Germany’s Social Democrats had their worst electoral result since 1933. Italy’s center-left was trounced by a combination of populists and right-wingers in March (Stephens). A lot of people try to bring up these countries in support for socialism but what they don’t know is that it ended up failing or that it wasn’t real socialism. The scandinavian states being working socialist states right now is also a popular point also brought up with socialist supporters. But what these people don’t know is the scandinavian states directly asked the United States to stop referring to them as socialist because they’re not- and even if they were those states are way more culturally identical than the US so it is much easier to implement the system.
Many socialists support socialism by saying that the rich aren’t being taxed enough which results in income inequality. This isn’t true as the rich are already being heavily taxed to make up for the poor. Government already provides significant redistribution. Maybe we should have more, maybe less. But we shouldn’t start with the notion that low-income households don’t stand a chance against the influence-peddling of the rich and well-to-do. History doesn’t support that. In 2014, the richest 1 percent paid 27 percent of federal taxes, and the richest 20 percent (including the top 1 percent) paid 70 percent of all taxes (“The Messy Truth About Income Inequality”). If we tax more than this it wouldn’t be a fair system. As mentioned before there are only 4 simple things one has to do to remain out of poverty. It is up to us as people to to these things so we don’t end up hurting our country with unconstitutional economic systems. Instead of blaming the rich how about we implement a working class affect, middle class politics, and upper class aspirations.
In conclusion; it is not fair for someone to demand for equal pay if those people aren’t doing anything to deserve of that pay. Every job has a different level of importance in society therefore you cannot demand that every job deserves the same amount of pay. Even though it may seem convincing to support socialism especially with many politicians such as Bernie Sanders demanding for it, it’s not an effective source of government in the long run. You need to remember that any government, including capitalism, will look bad if you compare it to a utopian ideal such as communism which is a basis of socialism. But utopian ideals aren’t possible so the capitalistic economy is and will be the best we’re going to get. Think about the future of our country and the selfish desires humans are naturally born with. Take these important factors into consideration the next time you vote for a politician and in the 2020 presidential election.
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