Before he died, Milton Friedman warned that socialism would become popular again. Bernie Sanders proved him right.
I don’t think many of Bernie Sanders’ ardent followers have more than a vague idea of socialism and what it means. Some polls have shown that when asked to explain socialism a fair number of millennials give an answer that more describes capitalism. Of course, they also say they hate capitalism.
Whatever they think it is, socialism in every form it has ever taken does not allow for the existence of free markets of exchange. All trade and production is owned and/or regulated by the government. Regulation in the modern state eliminates the need for the government to actually own factories and machinery and super markets. Absolute control over every aspect of life is the goal, not ownership unless that is necessary for control. It isn’t.
The idea that people will voluntarily work hard for the good of others more than for themselves is illusory because it defies human nature. The only way a man will toil for the benefit of someone else is if that someone else holds him in chains and has a gun pointed at his head. That’s not the utopian world socialists dream of, it’s slavery. Religious piety does not say otherwise. A just God does not bless those who take their daily bread from the sweat of other men’s brow.
The economics departments of elite institutions like Yale University are dominated by socialists. This explains a lot about what has become of higher education in America. It also explains why the elite educated in America are so far removed from reality in their understanding of how the economy of a country works to the benefit or detriment of the people.
It explains why they cannot grasp the concept that individual prosperity and happiness is proportionate to the level of economic freedom that exists in a country.
It explains why they cannot figure out that economic freedom and political freedom go hand in hand, that neither can exist without the other.
Some might think they’d like to have the wonderful deal life has given to my cat, which consists of eat, sleep, play, repeat. A thinking human being cannot be content with that for more than one day a week. Most of us need an occupation that satisfies our need for identity and self esteem. The happily retired find meaningful things to keep themselves busy for 5 or 6 days a week, and still reserve Sunday as a day of rest. They don’t let retirement take the fun out of that.
You may be industrious and would never fall into the eat, rest, play, repeat syndrome but then a few other things would happen. First, you’d notice that those who were collecting welfare under a previous system would continue as if nothing changed. They were already on the eat, rest, play, repeat wagon and see that it’s even better for them now. The main change in them will be an even stronger sense of entitlement. Followed by an even stronger flash of anger at anyone who suggests they ought to be working.
Another group of people who might have been in the workforce before will see that they have no better prospects of advancement than under the old system, and less reason to strive for it anyway. They are likely to work less and less efficiently and eventually not at all.
With all these idle hands to do the devil’s work the crime rate will all the while be escalating apace. The final sting of the devil’s riding crop is the realization there is nothing that the people can control anymore. All will be in the hands of a totalitarian government. The word “totalitarian” is not historic, having been coined only in the last century.
You the industrious worker will be left to stew in your resentment and hopelessness for your own future. Meanwhile a small set of elite partisans will have risen to power and control of government, living high off the national hog. As they squirrel away in Swiss bank accounts as much of the country’s wealth as they can steal, you will have nowhere to go, no dreams to pursue, no sense of self fulfillment.
The environmentalist wackos out there aren’t going to be very happy either. Well, they never would no matter what, but the environment will suffer greatly under the new socialist utopia. It always has in every country under the thumb of totalitarian ditatorship, why would it be different this time?
That is socialism. That is how Hugo Chavez’s daughter in said to be worth over one billion dollars. That is how Hosni Mubarak was found to have a billion dollars in his Swiss bank account upon being deposed after ruling Egypt for 30 years. Mubarak’s skimming looks rather conservative given that Egypt was the recipient of an annual $10 billion in foreign aid for all of those 30 years. Hugo Chavez controlled Venezuela for only 14 years and his daughter is now worth a bit more than Hosni. Bill and Hillary Clinton must be stewing in their juices since they have a paltry $300 million to show for three decades of lying, cheating, stealing, law breaking and corruption. If Hillary is elected president she and Bill will quickly catch up to Chavez’s daughter and Hosni Mubarak and the other oligarchs in the world.
If the American people let it happen, that is the brave new world they will live in. Makes me feel a little better just to know I’m old enough that nature’s course will spare me the worst of it. But you millennials, you must be completely nuts. You have no idea what awaits you.
I went looking for a current news story that I thing illustrates what Millennials are in for. I took abouit 30 seconds to find this one: Massachusetts will tax Uber to subsidse the taxi industry. The rise of Uber to compete with the taxi industry is what Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction.” It’s a feature not a bug of capitalism, and it’s one of the best.
Crony capitalism, in its advanced stage, is indistinquisable from socialism.
It’s not too late to prevent this. If enough people are willing.