How Socialism Can Ruin Your Life
"The startling truth is that nearly all of human progress has taken place in the last three hundred years (and for many of the billions of non-Westerners lifted out of crushing poverty thanks to capitalism, it’s happened in the last thirty years)....Capitalism is the most cooperative system ever created for the peaceful improvement of peoples’ lives. It has only a single fatal flaw: It doesn’t feel like it. The market system is so good at getting people—from all over the world—to work together that we barely notice how much we’re cooperating." – Jonah Goldberg
“There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.” – Anonymous
In America, especially on the Left, socialism has begun to rehabilitate its well-deserved horrible reputation. In a poll last year, 37 percent of all Americans and 54 percent of liberals preferred socialism to capitalism. Another poll from last year had 44 percent of millennials saying they prefer to live in a socialist society while only 42 percent prefer to live in a capitalist society.
Given that America became the most successful economy in the world because of capitalism and because there are many horror stories about socialist countries, it may be hard for some people to understand why socialism would have any appeal. However, there are three factors you have to consider.
1. Socialism SOUNDS really good
Socialists promise all sorts of “free” things, but never discuss the true cost. Capitalism is Microsoft, Apple, and Exxon. Socialism is Santa Claus.
2. The successes of capitalism are taken for granted
We live in the richest, most successful, most prosperous society in human history and like the trust-fund kid who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, we assume this is just HOW IT IS and assume that becoming a socialist nation wouldn’t change it. (Spoiler Alert: It would.)
3. There are no purely capitalist or socialist economies
This can confuse the issue because if you have a nation that already has a decent economy and make it increasingly socialistic, it will inevitably become weaker, but it doesn’t immediately die. This gives socialists an opportunity to point to some nations that aren’t smoking garbage heaps... yet. On the other hand, weaker economies that fully embrace socialism can completely implode.
Why? Well to get it, you need to understand which people benefit under which economies.
Socialism and its big brother communism are both Faustian bargains. You give up part of your freedom, a large part of your potential, and an enormous amount of money in return for unreliable promises of “free” stuff made by uncaring and incompetent government apparatchiks. Moochers, the lazy, and arguably people who will, for whatever reason, remain poor for their entire lives tend to benefit more under socialism/communism. Of course, even the permanently poor do worse in many socialist nations over the long haul not only because there are so many more of them than there are in more capitalistic countries, but because so much damage is often done to the economy that there’s little left over of other people’s money to give them.