Archive for April, 2020

Socialism: One Size Fits All

To plunder is described as to rob of goods or valuables by force, to despoil, or fleece. Fredrick Bastiat a French economist who lived from 1801 to 1850 wrote, “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

He also wrote these complimentary words regarding America in his time, “Look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person’s liberty and property.”

He then got down to the basic nitty and fundamental gritty and offered a warning regarding plundering saying, “See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefit one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” He then notes the government of some countries do what no citizen can do. He is describing the government taking from one by taxes and giving to another as an entitlement. The only way our government can give any citizen a single dollar is to take it from another citizen. The fact socialism promises to give away so many free things is they take so much from the people.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher noted, “The trouble with socialism is you soon run out of other people’s money.”

Charity, generous charity is to be commended. Those who are legitimately needy deserve help. Over 35 million Americans gave to charitable causes in the latest year for which there is data. The amount given to charity in 2018 was over 410 billion dollars. The amount usually goes up about five percent a year. Individuals voluntarily giving to people and causes they support is to be encouraged. This is individual generosity, not plunder.

Our free enterprise system allows for such largess. Socialism would plunder this generosity. Charities would suffer. Under socialism the government would collect the money and distribute it as they will, not necessarily according to the desire of the provider.

Ronald Reagan is reputed to have said, “Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.”

Whether he said it is questionable, but the fact of its truth is beyond question.

Consider the competency of the potential voters in future elections. A broad base of voters is uninformed regarding the foundation of our republic. The following statistics are from 2012. There is little chance the populace has become more informed: 70% did not know the Constitution was the law of the land, 62% of the voters could not name the three branches of the government, 65% did not know the purpose of the judicial branch. These are the people will be voting on the course of our nation.

America is faced with the potential these unenlightened people will elect people who will “…create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it (socialism) and a moral code that glorifies it.”

Bastiat provides this succinct definition of socialism: The (socialist) state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.”

Socialist: What To Expect

Before purchasing a car, it is wise to check the performance of other cars like the one you are considering. You can expect the same performance as they.

Before choosing the form of government to support, it is wise to check the performance of other countries that have used that model. Currently many Americans are favorably considering socialism. Examples of how it has worked abound, all with the same result.

Venezuela is a current example of socialism having ruined a once proud country. It was oil-rich when the socialist Nicolas Manduro came to power. Today it is in free fall. Everything is scarce, even the country’s electric system is failing. Children are fed from garbage dumps. Persons are eating their pets. That is Exhibit A of socialism.

Argentina was once one of the 10 richest counties in the world. Enter Juan Peron advocating what he called “national socialism.” He transformed the government. Presently Argentina ranks 25th among nations in GDP. Are we sure we want that to happen here?

Parallel columns are a good way to make comparisons and there are two good models to consider.

After World War II Germany was divided into two sectors. East Germany had imposed on it a socialist form of government. West Germany adopted a capitalistic form of government. Socialist East Germany built a double wall to keep its people from exiting into West Germany. They shot people who tried to cross over. Conditions were so bad people did try to cross from the East to the West. Finally socialism proved to be such a failure the walls fell.

Another example is Korea. The North being socialist and the South having a much more capitalistic form of government. The GDP in the South is $23,838. That of the North is 3.6 percent of that of the South. Food scarcity is such that there are reports of guards being stationed in cemeteries to prevent bodies being dug up for food.

America currently enjoys a free market system which allows for private ownership and individual productivity. It is far superior to socialism. How then is that system being threatened by a destructive inferior form of government? Simply by offering what it can’t produce, “free stuff.” It is a means of buying votes.

Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev is reputed to have said, “We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism, until they suddenly awake to find they have communism.”

Dangling an example of a successful socialist state is also an enticement. Denmark is heralded as an illustration. That, according to Prime Minister Lars Lekke Rasmussen of Denmark, is a misrepresentation stating: “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.”

Without Denmark as a model of successful socialism there is no good example. Every model is a demonstration of a failed government. If America were to venture into socialism no better result can be expected. The models are consistent. To expect a different result is foolish.

“Free” is the cheese in the trap, and to some that is so enticing they don’t see the trap.

Learning can be achieved academically or by personal experience. Let’s pray we learn academically, not experientially to our detriment.

Make America Great Again!

Make America Great Again!

“When was America ever great?” was the critical question asked by former Attorney General Eric Holder. A host echoes the same sentiment. It never was, if you interpret “great” as meaning perfect. However, if it is understood that “great” is a relative term, it applies. Great, compared with what?

Great is a trope, a metaphorical expression, indicating not that it is perfect, but that compared with others countries it excels. Consider, in what other country would you have preferred to be born and live? Given the choice of America, had you rather have been born in the country of your ancestors and still be living there? The option of moving to the land of your forefathers is open.

America certainly had and has imperfections. The era of abhorrent slavery is perhaps America’s nadir of imperfection. The concept is repulsive, inhumane. Bottom line, it was a repugnant sin.

In answering when America was great consider our emergence as a nation when our forefathers pledged their lives, their liberties, and their sacred honor to bring about its birth. That means they were willing to make even the ultimate sacrifice to give us the freedom we enjoy today. It was great when our predecessors composed a constitution that permits our present right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It was a great day when they adopted the Bill of Rights that citizens from all nations would love to have. It was great the day Martin Luther King Jr. helped open the eyes of the nation to a new day of greatness.

It would be an even greater nation if people would stop making disparaging statements that make some people feel there is nothing good in our past and that being an American is not a good thing. Those who do feel that way are at liberty to renounce their citizenship and move, OR stay here and work civilly within the law to improve it, not to radicalize it.

It is embarrassing to acknowledge America has had some lamentably dark days now looked upon sorrowfully and in contrition. Rather than getting caught up on and exploiting those days let’s learn from them and move on in our efforts to make America greater today.

For the people of Europe, Africa, and the Orient, America was great the day Americans freed them from enslaving ideologies imposed by tyrants. America was great during the era after World War II when America helped those nations recover by offering such aid as the Marshal Plan.

America was great the day, rather the freezing night, when George Washington and his mostly barefooted soldiers crossed the Delaware and marched through the snow to win a decisive battle at Trenton against all odds, helping gain our freedom.

It was a great day when Americans raised the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima at the expense of 6,000 Americans who died and 17,000 who were wounded.

It was a great day slavery was abolished in America. We appropriately reflect on that day, but add to it the millions of people globally American efforts have resulted in setting multiple millions of people free from oppressive despots.

Those were among the ultima Thule days when America reached the highest degree of greatness. There is no nation comparable in good deeds. Consider the benevolence, generosity, charity, amity, humanitarians, and philanthropy. No other country has as much. That alone has made America great.