Understanding socialism

April 2, 2019

One of the many fatal flaws of socialism is that people who are sold on it have no idea what it actually is.  For instance, one popular defense of socialism on social media is that if you are in favor of fire departments, highways, Social Security, etc., then you love socialism.  Except those things are NOT “socialism.”  Every government has certain things it does in the public interest and pays for through taxes.  That is not government control of the means of production. 

And Social Security was designed as an insurance program to which people contributed throughout their lives and got their own money back in retirement.  It was perverted through the years by government spending the money on other things and replacing it with IOUs, which turned it by default into an entitlement program that it was never meant to be. Now, one generation pays in and the money goes to generations that joined earlier.  That’s not exactly socialism, either, that’s a “Ponzi scheme.”  If you ran a system like that in the private sector, you’d end up in prison with Bernie Madoff.  But socialism and Ponzi schemes are similar in that they both take money from one person and give it to another, and they both eventually collapse.   

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Another fatal flaw of socialism is that it fails to take into account human nature: you can’t give control over that much power and money to a few bureaucrats and not expect them to be corrupted by it.  I recently saw a video in which someone who’d quit one of the radical millennial “progressive” groups was quoted as saying that the people he’d worked with knew they were promoting dictatorship but thought it was okay because they would be “benevolent dictators.”  They were so incorruptibly noble, good and well-intentioned that nothing could go wrong, like in Cuba or Venezuela.  That’s the same self-deluded line socialists have peddled everywhere it’s been tried, including Cuba and Venezuela.  When it fails, there’s always the same excuse: “Socialism works, but the right people haven’t been in charge of it yet!”

People duped by socialism are also always convinced that all that free stuff from the government is going to be paid for by someone else, i.e., “the rich.” By the time they figure out that even the rich don’t have enough money to pay for all that free stuff and now, they are classified as “the rich” and getting the bill, it’s too late. 

A recent poll by Business Insider found that 48% of millennial Democrats identify as “socialists” or “Democratic socialists,” but I’d bet few of them even know what socialism really is, having not been taught that in school.  So Campus Reform took its camera to Florida International University and gave some socialism-friendly students an example of how it works that they could understand.  Turns out socialism drops in popularity pretty fast when young people discover how much of their particular form of wealth “sharing the wealth” would cost them.

 

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/watch-students-love-socialism-asked-share-gpa/

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Comments 1-17 of 17

  • Barney FLint

    04/07/2019 07:33 PM

    The social security system in the USA is partly a good thing. It is a ponzi scheme for those who did not pay into it who are receiving benefits for which they did not provide. I have paid into that fund for 60 years and am now receiving the benefit that I paid for. For that matter, I am still paying into that fund as I am still working part time. Over my full time working careers, I was fortunate enough to put away some additional monies for retirement. Granted, I should have started sooner than I did but it is too late now to worry about it. I just have to live with what I have, hence the part time work as I would like a bit more spendable cash. Of course, a winning lottery ticket would be a bit plus. lol

  • Stephen Russell

    04/07/2019 05:14 PM

    Improving SS:
    Boost age to 75, 77 for this Generation.
    Use GDP for pay into SS IE X% profits.
    Use Govt waste into SS: see CAGW.org.
    Privitze Medicare & save $$$
    Boost age to 80+ for Next generation.
    NO Trust Fund.,
    Streamline SSA DC bureaucracy alone

  • irodney burke

    04/05/2019 02:16 PM

    It's funny ow only libs can't seem to grasp the failures of socialism. They can't look at China, Viet Nam, Cuba, and the soviet bloc. It is amazing. There is nothing to understand. It is a failure. If the libs would read Winston Churchill's remarks on socialism they might "get it"! They don't even understand what a socialist system consists of. Ref Denmark, Sweden, Norway. The failure recently of gov't health care in Finland. Yes, they are that dumb or is it mentally ill or both. Maybe the mental illness has made them dumb or... Summation; Socialism is a dismal failure...EVERYWHERE. No exceptions. There is NO place on earth where socialism is working. Socialized medicine also is a dismal failure in Canada, and the UK. When are libs gonna wake up? When they are in GITMO? Is that what it will take? Wake UP people. Throw this system in the trash.

  • Pauline Burbank

    04/05/2019 01:32 PM

    Thank you. If only we could get everyone to read and understand these truths.

  • Ernest Jones

    04/03/2019 09:52 PM

    Good to explain what socialism is and isn't. Thanks.

    I'm seeing a lot of pointing at big government programs as sources of corruption. But we seem to do this to avoid pointing at the corruption we already have in our own system, but public and private. I am unconvinced that other systems are better or worse, what matters is if there is a system where the people can and do provide effective oversight.

    The concern about government spending being a ponzi scheme would be true, except it is different with the entity that creates the currency. There is no requirement that the US actually pay down its debt, only that it roll it over and collect enough taxes to prove it is a government with authority to do so.

  • Christy Yazdi

    04/03/2019 08:34 PM

    Dear Mr Huckabee,
    I want to share with you, one does not have to take from the rich to pay for social programs. The US federal government is on a fiat currency system. The government is the currency issuer. Taxes do not fund the federal government. Taxes are taken out of the system, taxes are money destroying. I study and share information about MMT because I know humanity can thrive when we educate each about how the government economics system works. I hope you find this comment helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

  • osteena watson

    04/03/2019 02:32 PM

    we need to clean up our schools, make teachers and professors be American born and pro America, pro Constitution, then teach history and how bad socialism, communism, and islam is. Then teach respect for our country, flag, military, laws.

  • Janet Davis

    04/03/2019 02:09 PM

    First let's pass an amendment for balancing the budget and paying off the national debt. Then we can talk about government funded health care and socialism.

  • james randolph

    04/03/2019 01:27 PM

    LET'S PLAY THE DEMOCRACY GAME (cue game show music) ...
    ...
    (1) Go to dinner with TWO friends. (Bring your SHILL friend, and a "Democratic Socialist - DS")
    (2) ORDER expensive appetizers, beverages, entrees, desserts, TO-GO, spare no expense ...
    (3) Encourage the DS to "order whatever they want..."
    (4) VOTE who picks up the CHECK - democracy in action.
    (5) Choose the DS - after all, they just want equality.
    (6) Let the "winner" pick up the check for ALL guests, even if he/she/zit does not want to ...
    (7) Leave the restaurant, while the DS pays.Even more fun, if the DS has insufficient funds.
    (8) If possible, repeat with other "democratic socialists" until WOKE.
    ...
    [jim]

  • Paul T. Kern

    04/03/2019 01:15 PM

    I grew up in the 1960's and exposed to real facts and classics. I think bringing back the draft will be a help as many idealistic young men and women will have an opportunity to see firsthand how Marxist/Nazi_Socialist thinking ends up as the " law of the jungle." Many and old have been conditioned to believe some "man or woman" can replace The Almighty. Only the Gospel has the power to change lives totally

  • Dave Smith

    04/03/2019 12:05 PM

    Many talk of socialism failing every time it is implemented, but never detail the reason why. Government spends nearly 100% of its taxed and borrowed wealth on consumption, not wealth building ventures. To consume is to destroy like fire destroys its fuel. In the economy consumption destroys wealth. It is retained excess wealth invested in wealth generating ventures that builds the economy. Money, if it represents wealth does the same, but printed money is not wealth until it steals its value from existing dollar denominated investments such as government debt, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, cash and the like, commonly the investment of middle class Americans. This is a mechanism transferring wealth from middle America to the rich and connected and a reason why the middle class is worse off today. Remember, the Fed prints money, not wealth.
    Growing the government, socialism does this, as a percentage of the economy concurrently grows consumption at the expense of investment. When consumption exceeds wealth generation, we are going broke. Socialism has all but eliminated the private sector in the Venezuela economy and it is broke. The same will happen in the US if we continue to grow government, it needs to shrink to get on a sustainable path going forward.

  • Dave Smith

    04/03/2019 11:54 AM

    Many talk of socialism failing every time it is implemented, but never detail the reason why. Government spends nearly 100% of its taxed and borrowed wealth on consumption, not wealth building ventures. To consume is to destroy like fire destroys its fuel. In the economy consumption destroys wealth. It is retained excess wealth invested in wealth generating ventures that builds the economy. Money, if it represents wealth does the same, but printed money is not wealth until it steals its value from existing dollar denominated investments such as government debt, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, cash and the like, commonly the investment of middle class Americans. This is a mechanism transferring wealth from middle America to the rich and connected and a reason why the middle class is worse off today. Remember, the Fed prints money, not wealth.
    Growing the government, socialism does this, as a percentage of the economy concurrently grows consumption at the expense of investment. When consumption exceeds wealth generation, we are going broke. Socialism has all but eliminated the private sector in the Venezuela economy and it is broke. The same will happen in the US if we continue to grow government, it needs to shrink to get on a sustainable path going forward.

  • Vickie Watts

    04/03/2019 11:23 AM

    Thank you for explaining socialism so succinctly. One of the arguments that our two leftist sons always use for AOC’s promise of a better life under socialism is that their dad and I have socialistic Medicare insurance and social security. True, so I am glad that you showed the difference between government help and socialism. As we keep trying to tell our sons, we paid for our Social Security benefits and we pay for Medicare. So, the government is not giving us a free handout as is what is supposed to happen in socialism.

  • Billy Bob Cox

    04/03/2019 10:57 AM

    While fire departments and highways are not socialism, the public schools are. And you can see the result of government control of the product (the world-view of our children). The reason socialism is becoming so popular is it is being ingrained into our children by a school system dependent on there not being any competition. It is very similar to what Nebuchadnezzar did in Babylon when he took the best and brightest from Judah and began a program of indoctrination on them so that they would pass it on to the masses. When I was a student in the public schools were educational institutions where we were taught how to think. I watch and talk with students today and am convince the public schools today are social experiments where children are taught WHAT to think.

  • Timothy Houtchens

    04/03/2019 09:40 AM

    Dear Mr. Huckabee,
    What is the business of government? Look it up!
    The business of government is to provide services to the general populous that they cannot provide for themselves. Roads, clean water, sewage control, Police and fire protection just to name a few.
    Healthcare? Ok I will put that in a grey area. We all will need some kind of healthcare throughout our lives and the poor or elderly cannot afford it. To them it's a choice do I eat or take my meds and starve to death? All these other things the Socialists want as freebies are luxuries not necessities. Government needs to stick to the basics of life, including life. I resent my tax dollars being spent on an abortion because some woman in a "weak" moment allowed a man to plant his seed in her. To me pregnancy is a terminal illness which will terminate in 9 months and should be used as a learning experience.

  • Kathy

    04/02/2019 10:42 AM

    I've been trying to explain socialism to young people that insist that democratic socialism is different. When I ask for an example they have no idea what socialism really is except free stuff. I finally reached my children thank the Lord but we need to keep fighting these demons also known as democrats! Thanks for your posts

  • Eileen Scharett

    04/02/2019 10:15 AM

    Well said. This crazy idea of socialism is tearing families apart. The older and I think wiser have been through life, wars and etc, but the young people are being groomed from school to college and have no idea.