Socialism In America Joseph Clarkson

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There was a professor who believed in the powers of the free market but one year his entire class believed that socialism was the answer. To show them this was not the case he said that he would average the class grade out. The next week the students who had studied hard became angry when they saw that they had gotten a B because other student’s hadn’t put as much into it. So they decided that wouldn’t work as hard because the score was averaged and so it wouldn’t really matter. Well that week the class average fell to an F! (Made To Stick) This is just like socialism, socialist take from everyone and spread the products out evenly. As this story demonstrates, socialism fails, however the United States is currently implementing more and more socialist policies. We will look at 3 main socialistic policies that are happening right now in the US, but before we go any farther we need to define socialism. Socialism is defined as, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/) Now that we know what socialism is… Actually lets rephrase the definition so that it is easier to understand. Socialism is basically Robin Hood, socialist rob the rich to give to the poor. In an ideal world this would make everyone middle class but because it creates an incentive for the rich and the poor not to work it actually makes everyone poor. Not only that but for around a decade our government has started and continued to implement socialistic policies. So now that we know what socialism is let’s take a look at the socialist policies that the US is implementing, the first one we will look at is Government healthcare.

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Government healthcare is probably the most socialist move our government has made yet. One of the worst parts of this policy is the “Individual Mandate.” “For the purposes of the law, "individuals who can afford health-care insurance" is defined as people for whom the minimum policy will not cost more than 8 percent of their monthly income, and who make more than the poverty line.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/) So if you make more than the poverty line then you are forced to get insurance. So logically if the people have to have insurance the companies no longer have to try and keep their prices low and their customer satisfaction high because the people are forced to get insurance even if they don’t want to. Also in forcing people to get insurance they take away your freedom to choose not to get it. “Let us not forget that Lenin called medicine the “keystone in the arch of socialism.”” (http://fee.org /.) The next big socialistic move the government took was that of Government buying of the private sector (the bailouts).

“The federal government took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Sunday in a bid to keep the two mortgage giants from failing, catastrophes that would have made home loans harder to get and taken the nation's housing collapse to a new level of crisis.”( http://articles.sfgate.com/) Now because the government “saved” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac you have to spend you money giving loans to home owners. If the government would have let those companies die the home owners would have gone to other companies thus resulting in big growth for other companies. But instead they are getting money from the government. Also the government is doing everything in its

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power to create jobs. Let me point out that in the depression the government paid people to dig holes then fill them back in, in order to create jobs. You may say “Well at least they had a job”…yes but it didn’t produce anything. The whole reason people work is to get stuff. The way they get that stuff is by producing goods, whether it is raising chickens, building cars or designing websites you are creating something. If you raise chickens but a guy in China can do it cheaper so you lose your job that is fine. The consumers benefit from this, they get cheaper food and overall it helps the economy. However you still would be pretty unhappy with that guy in China. But what this means is that you have to find something else to produce. Something you can produce cheaper than or as cheap as the rest of the other producers. Right now your probably thing, “did he really just say that?” And yes I did say that. Through this process of eliminating useless of expensive jobs the economy makes sure you get cheap products. The problem arises when there are not enough jobs being created to take the people who go out of business. This can be caused by many things. When a nation gets a rich as America is, its workers will demand such a high wage that their products can be too expensive to sell. This is one of the main problems with capitalism. It allows for the cheapest products but sometimes people get hurt in the process. However this is indeed better than the alternative in which the US has turned to. Socialism makes everyone poor and takes away everyone’s freedom, except for possible a few ruling elites. So we do have a choice to make. All systems have their faults and we will have to choose which system has the least faults. So back to the chicken growing analogy, if you wish to have a job you must find something you can produce cheaper than or as cheap as the other produces. However if the government steps in and

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gives you a bailout you will then keep raising chickens....problem is that then the consumers will have to pay a higher price for chicken. So really letting people go out of business and find a new job helps the economy. Now lets move on to the third socialistic policy of the US. This policy is older than the other policies I have talked about. This policy is Public education.

Public education gives cheap education to just about anyone who wants it. However the government uses taxpayer money to send people to school. This means that you don’t have the freedom to not pay for your neighbor’s education. And because there is no competition between schools the schools have no incentive to be the best…Or for that matter good at all. If all schools were privately owned then the schools would be working as hard as they could to be the best because if they aren’t then they don’t get paid because people won’t be willing to pay for their kids to go do nothing. If there was motivation to be the best our school system would be much better. But because the government provides “free” education there is no incentive, no motivation for schools to be good. You as a parent want your kids to get a good education. You may be thinking, “Yes, but I can’t pay the extra thousands of dollars to private school my kids.” Well you may think your kids are going to school for free but actually you are paying. You are paying for your kid’s education through taxes. You would get that money back if there was no public school system. So you actually could pay for it using the money you save in taxes.

I have shown some reasons why socialism is bad but why do I think it is so terrible?

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Well for example in the book The Law, by Frederic Bastiat, a French philosopher, he states that, “Socialist look upon the people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. This is so true that, if by chance, the socialist have any doubt about the success of these combinations, they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set aside to experiment upon.” (http://www.fee.org/) Later on in his book he states that, “But what difference there is between the gardener and his trees, between the inventor and his machine, between the chemist and his elements, between farmer and his seeds! And in all sincerity, the socialist thinks that there is the same difference between himself and mankind!” (http://www.fee.org/) This is so true, socialist think they may use government to guide and direct the people and markets. This idea flawed because in guiding the people the socialist takes away their Individuality, Liberty and Prosperity. Which according to Bastiat these are God given rights. Socialist must play God in order to think they have the rights to take away another mans rights, to deprive him of liberty and his property. This is why Bastiat said “Socialist want to play God”.( http://www.fee.org/)

As history has proven socialism destroys the economy and causes depression. Mark Perry, Ph.D. - Professor of Finance and Business Economics states, “Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.” (http://www.thefreemanonline.org/) See, socialist take from everyone and spread the products out evenly. So the farmers who

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work hard get just as much as the bum who didn’t work a day in his life. This decreases productivity which, in turn, hurts the economy. Mark Perry, said later on in his article that, “A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.” (http://www.thefreemanonline.org/) Right now you may be wondering, “why does it matter that socialism ignores incentives?” I will illustrate this with an analogy. Say you were at a restaurant with a friend. You and your friend both order salads. You hate onions but your friend loves them. Not only that but you love tomatoes and your friend hates them. The thing is the onions in your salad are worth 25 cents and the tomatoes are only worth 10 cents. But you are still going to trade even though you are from a monetary standpoint losing out on this deal. The reason is because you value tomatoes higher than onions. This is an example of how personal taste creates incentives. However socialist won’t know that you want tomatoes not onions so you will be given an equal amount of tomatoes as your friend who hates tomatoes. Under a capitalist system you could then trade or sell your onions to your friend who loves them. But socialism ignores the the fact that people may not want a certain product.

So what can we do to stop socialism in America? Well first off you can pray. Pray that our leaders will have wisdom and that the voters will

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vote for the right person. Secondly, you can vote. Go and research what each candidate has done in the past and what their position is then make a decision on who to vote for. Thirdly, you can educate others about socialism in the US. Tell them what is happening and why it matters. And just remember America is the land of the free because of the brave. Be brave, take and stand for freedom. Thank you.

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Works Cited Klein, Ezra. "Ezra Klein - How Does the Individual Mandate Work?" Blog Directory (washingtonpost.com). 25 Mar. 2010. Web. 10 Feb. 2011. <http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezraklein/2010/03/how_does_the_individual_mandat.html>.

"Healing America: The Free Market Instead of Government Health Care | Foundation for Economic Education." Foundation for Economic Education | Home to Freedom and Prosperity, and Free-market Education for over 50 Years. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. <http://fee.org/nff/healing-america-the-free-market-instead-of-government-healthcare/>. Perry, Mark J. "Why Socialism Failed." The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. <http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/why-socialism-failed/>. Sebelius, Kathleen. Home | HealthCare.gov. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. <http://www.healthcare.gov/>. "Socialism - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary." Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism>. Zuckerman, Sam. "Feds Take Control of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac - SFGate." Featured Articles From The SFGate. 08 Sept. 2008. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. <http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-09-08/news/17156613_1_freddie-mac-fanniemae-two-mortgage-giants>.

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Bastiat, Frederic. “The Law” August 1998. Web. 10 Jan. 2011. <http://www.fee.org/pdf/books/The_Law.pdf>

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