Socialism, or Democratic Socialism, is portrayed as a system that helps those in need most and gives everyone a fair chance at success. This ideal system would redistribute the wealth of the 1% to provide a basic income, free healthcare, free college tuition, and free child care, just to name a few. These talking points tend to hit home with almost every American who spends a large chunk of the paycheck on everyday necessities or conveniences.
The lure of the federal government paying their bills for some sounds too good to pass up. In fact, a recent Gallup pollshowed that 57% of Democrat voters think favorably of socialism. Another pollshowed that the biggest impact is on Millennials and Generation Z. Nearly 50% of those two groups combined said they would prefer to live in a socialist country. So, what’s the big deal with socialism?
The old saying, “Free isn’t free,” rings true here. Socialism comes at a high cost. It results in the loss of freedom, privacy, and autonomy. Every decision will be made by power-hungry elites in the federal government, from the doctor you see to the job you work. There will be no competition, thus no innovation resulting in underproduction. Countless U.S. federal programs have failed or been deemed inadequate already. Take a look at our national education system, the Veterans Administration (VA), or social security. Allowing the government to have even more control would destroy our livelihoods.
Venezuela is the most recent country to fail under socialism. It was once Latin America’s wealthiest country due to its vast amount of oil reserves. Now, it looks a scene from an apocalyptic movie. After the government took over the industry of agriculture, food production fell by 75% over two decades. During that time, the population increased by 33% which eventually led to families going hungry. The Venezuelan government did not stop at agriculture though. They continued to take over utility companies, banks, and private businesses. With limited food, water, and electricity, the entire economy collapsed leaving citizens devastated.
Many examples of socialism’s shortcomings can be seen throughout history in countries such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, and China. These countries resorted to violence to force their citizens into submission. Anyone who publicly disagreed was censored and many were killed. Time after time, socialism resulted in communism and dictatorships. Many socialist activists have said that socialism is not what ruined these countries, it was the corruption. What they fail to see is that corruption and socialism work together hand-in-hand.
While activists are quick to point to Denmark as the ideal socialist country, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen was quick to correct them saying, "I know that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore, I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy." Those who have done their research denounce and distance themselves from socialism.
As a reminder, Capitalism is what has afforded us our freedoms, security, and individuality. While some may say that Capitalism is a greedy system, that cannot be further from the truth. The free market is based off of satisfying others’ needs. When an entrepreneur starts a business, it is to provide a good to someone else, not himself. The consumer is the one in charge. They determine what products will sell and which ones will flop. With socialism, the federal government is in charge of what you buy and sell.
The results are simple: In a capitalistic system, we are all free. In a socialist system, we are captives to the powerful. Instead of helping the most vulnerable have a better quality of life, socialism only depresses the standard of living. Which system will let you decide your own future?