SOCIALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS
Consider two shoemakers. One is exceptionally gifted and motivated. He can make seven high-quality shoes per day. He has found his niche and enjoys a prosperous life style.
The second shoemaker for whatever reason is less successful. He makes only one lousy shoe a day and makes an equally bad living. The blind forces of capitalism would force the less productive worker into another endeavor for which he is better suited or better motivated.
The democrat however would find the trauma of the poor shoemaker unacceptable. The left-wing remedy would be to tax the efficient worker by perhaps confiscating anything in excess of four shoes per day. The government would then have three shoes with which to make a better society.
The first shoe could be kept by the government for “collection expenses.” The second shoe might fund a “community organizer” to sue the government on behalf of the poor in amorphous “class action suits.” This lawyer would make a good living and although his expenses drain funds intended the poor that would be merely an unfortunate side effect. But on the plus side, this new friend might be grateful enough to hire the sponsoring politician when he is voted out of office after the next scandal. In any event the third shoe could serve the stated purpose of social compassion and be gifted to the inefficient worker.
The good shoemaker now only has four shoes but the bad one has two. The initial effect is an improvement in equality of income and attendant life style.
Socialism thus believes government bureaucrats can spend your money better than you can. You would just waste it on your family whereas politicians are smarter and able to make society at large fairer and happier. And the loss of personal freedom as a consequence of new taxes and regulations is but a small price to pay.
Unfortunately, a few unavoidable effects of the inherent corruption of socialism include
1. The government bureaucrat who collects taxes and his collaborator, the community activist-lawyer, both have make-work jobs enforcing new policies but will otherwise produce nothing.
2. The government bureaucrat will always make his life easier using the absolute power of the state. For instance, he might require daily reports on production to make collection easier. He might seek increased penalties for mistakes in reporting and be rewarded for increasing government income. But to the extent he exercises his authority, it will always be, for better or worse, at the expense of everyone else’s liberty.
3. The efficient worker still has enough to live on but will see less benefit in hard work. He might maximize his situation by reducing his daily output to only four shoes. Indeed he wouldn’t get paid for making any more and might not have the time anyway after filling out the daily government forms. This is generally called a “structural inefficiency” which reduces economic output by preferentially attacking productivity and is a direct and intended and unavoidable consequence of liberalism.
4. The inefficient worker will soon realize that if he stops making shoes entirely, he will still get one a day from the government. This is what he had before, and to which he had become accommodated. He will be quite happy not having to work and is well on the way to becoming a permanent burden on his neighbors.
5. There will be fewer shoes available. That is the previous private sector output of eight shoes has now been reduced to four. Because of shortages, everything will be more expensive in a hidden tax the liberal politicians will deny.
6. In a downward spiral, the government will have to find a substitute for its lost revenue of three shoes, perhaps by taxing the local donut shop. And so there will be fewer donuts and less bread as well for similar reasons.
7. As the economy declines, the government might quietly print more money. This will of course cause inflation and is thus a hidden tax because everyone’s money now buys fewer goods. But this will be so gradual that most people won’t realize it and even less so blame the government.
8. The number of people permanently in need and whose lives literally depend on “trickle-down” crumbs from the government table will unavoidably increase. These will form a permanent voting block for socialist politicians who will use demagoguery to blame the declining economy on everyone else.
Or as Prime Minister of Britain Margret Thatcher ruefully noted “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” And then having feasted on the “seed” corn, which one-time holiday brought the socialists to power, everyone starves.
There is no such thing as a free lunch of salty potato chips or the drinks would be much less expensive. Unlike the government, which can print money, Corporations need to make a profit to exist. And this is no easy matter as more fail than succeed. Corporate taxes are necessarily paid in entirety by consumers and at much higher percentages by the poor who have no excess disposable income. These taxes are regressive, hidden, and always denied by left-wing politicians and a dishonest press.
Despite the universally broken promises left-wing politicians always make, socialism does not improve the lives of the poor but rather brings everyone else down to their level . It is corrupting and, at its core, immoral.
If there is the slightest doubt of this, simply consider the historical record [2-13].
1. “The Tragedy of American Compassion” by Marvin Olasky; Regnery Publishing; Reprint edition (February 1, 1994), ISBN-10: 089526725X, ISBN-13: 978-0895267252.
2. The left-wing Communists in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin who could never feed their people and who mass murdered tens of millions for their political views and to maintain public order.
3. The left-wing Socialism of Nazi Germany [e.g. translated as the “National Socialist German Workers Party”] under the utter horror of Adolph Hitler
4. The left-wing Socialism-Fascism of Italy under Hitler’s best friend and fellow socialist Benito Mussolini.
5. The left-wing Communism of China in which many tens of millions of political opponents were floated down sundry rivers and the mass murder of the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square. Compare that with the right-wing free market economies of Singapore or Taiwan which support private property rights and let people keep what they earn.
6. The left-wing Socialism of East Germany (and indeed all of occupied Eastern Europe) during the Cold War when entire families were machine gunned trying to escape across the Iron Curtain to West Berlin.
7. The left-wing Communism of North Korea which routinely starves to death millions.
8. The left-wing Communism of Cuba and the enforced poverty and suppression of dissent which led to hundreds of thousands trying to swim to Florida.
9. The mass murder of 15-20% of the entire population of South Vietnam after the left-wing Communist takeover or the hundreds of thousands of “boat people” trying to escape the new socialist workers paradise.
10. The mass murder (nearly 1/3rd of the population) of the “killing fields” of Cambodia by the left-wing Communist Khmer Rouge.
That this left-wing cause was supported by American celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden and Joan Baez and numerous Hollywood figures is a criminal obscenity (q.v. Indochina Peace Committee “IPC”). That they were never brought to trial in the US for their fund raising efforts and monies sent abroad to enemy combatants in time of war yet compounds the outrage.
A few of the inspiring quotes from Jane Fonda were
“If you understood what Communism was, you would hope, you would pray, on your knees that we would someday become communist”, at the University of Michigan (Nov. 21, 1970).
“I, a socialist, think that we should arrive toward a socialist society, all the way to communism”, at Duke University (1970).
"We've got to establish a Socialist economic structure that will limit private profit-oriented businesses. Whether the transition is peaceful depends on the way our present governmental leaders react.”, at the University of Texas (December 11, 1971)
Hanoi Jane after helping to torture captured US Air
Force and Navy pilots in North Vietnam. At age 34,
she is pictured manning an enemy anti-aircraft gun
for the Communists at the peak of the war in 1972.
The air war over North Vietnam made extensive use of electronic counter-measures as US interdiction sorties tried to jam enemy Surface-to-Air (SAM) missiles and radar directed anti-aircraft fire. And so the communists were desperate to discover those captured airmen who had been trained in the art of this electronic warfare. To accomplish this, left-wing Americans befriended wives and families of captured US serviceman and especially created biographies to include military training and expertise.
Jane Fonda and John Kerry both compiled these lists and carried them to North Vietnam and to Viet Cong representatives in Paris resulting in the torture and death of US prisoners who were subsequently identified as experts. These POWs were known to have survived capture but never returned. It is also indisputable that knowledge of US radar jamming technology improved in communist North Vietnam after such activities by Jane and John. And so today, both Fonda and Kerry are idolized as Heroes of the Communist Revolution in the North Vietnam War Museum in Hanoi.
One small result of Hanoi Jane’s fund raising
efforts for the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Please note that while Communists in China and Russia were drastically increasing aid to the Khmer Rouge, their previously ineffectual revolution was only able to seize power in 1975 after Congressional democrats eliminated all US military assistance to the free market right-wing government of Lon Nol. The Republicans had been supporting the fight against the communist Khmer Rouge since 1970. And so despite repeated and strident Republican warnings, the famous democrat Senator George McGovern knew better
"The growing hysteria of the [Republican] administration's posture on Cambodia, seems to me to reflect a determined refusal to consider what the fall of the existing [right-wing] government in Phnom Penh would actually mean… We should be able to see that the kind of [left-wing] government which would succeed Lon Nol's forces would most likely be a government… run by some of the best-educated most-able intellectuals in Cambodia."
This was especially ironical as EVERYONE with any education was selectively murdered by the communists over the next four years. The influential democrat Christopher Dodd representing Connecticut in the US House of Representatives chimed in with
"The greatest gift our country can give to the Cambodian people is peace, not guns. And the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now."
The New York Times echoed this sentiment with editorials supporting the left-wing correspondent Sydney Schanberg [April 13, 1975, whose dispatch was entitled “Indochina without Americans: For Most A Better Life”] and which read in part about a Communist victory
“… it is difficult to imagine how their lives could be anything but better with the Americans gone… [and as to predictions of mass slaughter] … It would be tendentious to forecast such abnormal behavior as national policy under a Communist government once the war [opposing Communist aggression] is over."
The New Republic wrote that the fall of a free-market right-wing society to the left-wing Communists would happily result in
“… the Cambodian people will finally be rescued from the horrors of a war [of Communist aggression] that never really had any meaning."
This was echoed by left-wing activists John Kerry and Anthony Lake who demanded a Communist victory and taught that Republican warnings of a blood bath were only trying to “stir up anti-Communist hysteria.” Individual lives and liberties might not mean much to these democrats but it is hard to imagine they had no meaning to the 1/3rd of all Cambodians who were massacred.
11. The left-wing Socialist takeover of Venezuela which transformed the richest oil revenue country in the world to one with mass starvation and ran the cost of toilet paper to unaffordable heights.
12. The swing to left-wing Socialism in Greece after it joined the European Union in the last decade. The socialists spent all the money to buy votes and borrowed more running up the public debt. And then when the European Union stopped lending money, the economy collapsed, pensions were eliminated, welfare benefits for widows disappeared, unemployment skyrocketed, in order to feed themselves millions emigrated to other countries, and the standard of living of everyone was cut in half.
13. The recent Socialist disaster in Puerto Rico which started spending like crazy and now has no economy or standard of living left.
APPENDIX : HOME GROWN INSANITY
Free market capitalism provides such a wonderful standard of living that the American economy is the envy of the world. It may thus be surprising to learn that the Puritans who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 were initially left-wing socialists in a manner which is advocated today by democrats. The thinking was that the risks of founding a new settlement necessitated extreme measures.
In any event and whatever their prior inclinations, the arrangement was that all food was to be placed in a community storehouse to be dispensed as needed by the colony’s Governor. Only after seven years was excess production to be equally divided among the survivors. Unfortunately, but perhaps unavoidably, this arrangement proved disastrous. Indeed, in the first year more than half of the entire colony starved to death. Nor were conditions improved by the meager harvests of the next two years, in 1621 and 1622. Sadly, it was the women and young children who bore the brunt of the privation.
The difficulty was that healthy men after a hard day’s labor resented getting no more food than those too weak or unwilling to work. Single men resented having to work for those with families. Wives resented having to serve others meager and dwindling rations at the expense of husbands and especially their own children. Production of the necessities drastically declined as compulsory community service was considered little less than slavery. In proportion to the continuing starvation, hoarding and theft and rancor became rampant. Capital punishment was enforced for pilfering from collective stores.
Finally in utter desperation in 1623, Governor William Bradford instituted right-wing capitalism as advocated today by Republicans. The justification came from the Biblical verse “Those that shall not work, neither shall they eat.” Individual plots of land were allocated and private property rights to the resulting harvests were introduced. The results were nothing less than spectacular. By the fall of 1624 there was such an abundance of food that a shipload of corn was exported to England to retire a portion of the colony’s debt. Families prospered with exponential growth. And the painful truth of this hard lesson was enshrined in the American character not lost over many subsequent generations.
And so today, it is nearly unbelievable is that anyone in America would advocate the emotional feel-good but utterly destructive socialism-fascism left-wing policies of the democrats. And yet they do.
And WHY do they do this when socialism has never worked anywhere at anytime? Maybe because they are insane?