I think it is very important to note that while it is vital that we fix the excesses of capitalism (tax wealth not income, eliminate loopholes, increase transparency, remove artificial barriers to entry, reform patents), that other forms of economic order are far worse. Socialism has led to totalitarianism in each case it’s been tried… We now have many examples of this. Venezuela is just the most recent.
COMMENTS FROM FACEBOOK:
Grandma: Glad you got it right. Convince others in your age group.
Joel: Socialism has been proven to be a failure, but I think the reason Millennials are turning to Socialism is that the last two generations screwed up democracy and capitalism. Millennials have far less purchasing power than previous generations due to entitlements like Social Security and Medicare that have been taken by older folks at the expense of the youth. Nimbyism has prevented new housing from being built, increasing the cost home ownership to out of reach for Millennials. Russia finally found a war it could win- not military, not economic, but through propaganda. Now we have a traitor in the White House, the British are fighting themselves, and NATO is greatly weakened. Putin is laughing at us while he conquers Ukraine and chunks of the Middle East. The last two generations gave lip service to “live free or die”, but sponsored evil dictatorships like Saudi Arabia (look up Mohammed Bone Saw). America is losing its moral authority. The military itself is a giant socialist machine… We spend vast sums of money on boondoggles, corruption, and evil. A standing military is built only to win the last war. We are like the French with their Maginot line prior to WW2. Our next enemy will just go around the giant overpriced socialist military. And ultimately none of this really matters as true general AI has already arrived and a massively superior species is rising and our extinction is imminent.
End of morning rant. 😉
Love you Grandma!
Max: Venezuela is not an isolated control of Socialism if you compare it to the economic success of the United States. There are a lot of factors that have led to the disastrous situation.
“Socialism has led to totalitarianism in each case it’s been tried”
The NHS in Britain is socialist. Public Libraries are socialist. Government-owned airlines are socialist. The California public university system is socialist. Worker cooperatives are socialist.
Joel: Max, You raise interesting points. I agree that socialism, to an extent, can be reviewed in specific industries like healthcare or libraries vs nations as a whole. I think when viewed at the nation scale it is clear socialism doesn’t work across the examples we have.
I am not sure that the examples you provided would be considered successes though. Britain’s NHS has long wait times and poor quality service. Airline travel costs plummeted after privatization. There’s a reason people spend a lot of money to send their kids to private school even though there is a free public option. Teachers unions have warped education to be about maintaining teachers salaries rather than achieving great outcomes for kids. You can’t fire a bad teacher, and a good teacher has no motivation to go above and beyond due to seniority based pay.
I think the military industrial complex we have is an example of socialism… Government money used in vast amounts to finance boondoggle projects which people want to use so we end up in wars paid for by the government that are bankrupting our economy.
I think Republicans and Democrats in our country have lost sight of actual principles and now just fight each other without thinking why.
Joel: Also, I really hope the Republicans and Democrats put forward centrist candidates who are stable and intelligent.
It would be a nightmare to have a Green New Deal / Bernie Sanders candidate versus Trump. Both come from failed ideologies (the old new deal failed and socialism leads to dictators… And Trump is Putin’s pawn who is destroying America’s alliances that won WW2 and the Cold War). Trump opposes free markets by supporting regulations protecting his cronies, and causes extreme harm to America’s system by dodging taxes he legitimately owes. He committed criminal tax fraud when his father died to avoid taxes, but the statute of limitations has expired sadly.
We need stable leadership. Unfortunately, screaming talking heads on TV and insanity on social media is what gets attention, not reasonable people actually discussing ideas.
Michael: Just assign your Social Security benefits to me and I’ll agree to whatever anti-socialism thesis you want to propound.
Joel: Deal! Social Security is supposed to be bankrupt by 2034… I can’t receive benefits until sometime around 2050. I guess this is free for me! 😉
Joel: The real problem with entitlements is the opportunity for abuse. People who legitimately need help should receive it. However, far more people than those who need it end up getting entitlements. 10% of America’s GDP goes towards entitlements. Several of my own family members spent their entire lives collecting various forms of entitlements (disability, Social Security, welfare)… and these are healthy individuals who could have worked and would have been better off working. I’m sure you have firsthand examples you can think of… we all do when half the population is on the dole. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/who-receives…/…. Socialism is just entitlements for everyone… and when everyone has entitlements, no one works. If no one works, those entitlements can’t be given. If people don’t receive entitlements they expect, civil unrest happens. Then dictators rise to power and force people to work (inefficiently). And then you end up with Venezuela, Cuba, USSR, North Korea, China, Ethiopia, Somalia, etc.